The State of California recently passed Assembly Bill 218 which prohibits state and local agencies from inquiring about the criminal history of job applicants. Governor Brown approved the bill on October 10, 2013.
The new law "bans the box" on state and local agency job applications. The "ban the box" initiative is the removal of the box on a job application that inquires about an applicant's criminal history.
The legislation prohibits a state or local agency from asking an applicant for employment to disclose orally or in writing information concerning the conviction history of the applicant. The prohibition includes any inquiry about conviction history on an employment application. An inquiry may be made only after the agency has determined the applicant meets the minimum employment qualifications. The restrictions apply to state agencies, all cities and counties, including charter cities and charter counties, and special districts in California.