RICHMOND (KCBS) – A bill in the State Assembly could remove a request for information about criminal history from many California job applications, which could clear the way for many former convicts to get back to work.

Some Contra Costa County supervisors have said Assembly Bill 18-31 would help those with a criminal history get back to work. The bill would prohibit a local agency from asking an applicant about criminal history in the initial employment application. West Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia said that there are some misconceptions about the legislation.

”People believe that it means you’re never going to check criminal records for any job, and that is just not true,” said Gioia.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

For instance, the legislation would not apply to jobs where a local agency is required to conduct a criminal history background checks. Supervisor Karen Mitchoff said that the measure removes an obstacle for low-level offenders who are looking for work.

”It at least encourages people to apply who might have walked away and not applied to begin with,” said Mitchoff.

AB 18-31 is referred to as “the ban the box” bill, because it means that people wouldn’t have to check the box about their criminal history. Alameda County, Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles have already banned the box in their respective areas.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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