Can I secure a job in California with a criminal record?

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

If you’re currently facing criminal charges, then you’re likely concerned about how a conviction may impact your future employment prospects.

While you might not have been worried about this a couple of decades ago, the internet has changed things. You know that virtually every employer performs background checks on their workers. You wonder if your arrest and outcome will come up, and if they’ll use that info. to fire you or not hire you. You have a valid reason to be concerned.

What are the collateral consequences of a conviction?

A previous statistic forwarded by the American Bar Association is that there are more than 46,000 consequences attached to a criminal conviction. Most of those are employment-related.

What is the Fair Chance Act?

California began enforcing the Fair Chance Act in 2018. It aims to ensure that all job applicants receive an equal review for a role no matter their criminal record.

It also prohibits most employers from advertising that individuals with criminal records are prohibited from applying, except in limited public service-related roles. It does, however, allow employers to perform background checks once they’ve extended a conditional job offer to a worker. Employers are generally able to pull up your criminal history for the past seven years.

The law allows employers to withdraw their offer after performing this background check. Government officials expect employers to weigh the following before doing so:

  • The relationship between the job they’re applying for and their conviction
  • How long it’s been since their conviction and whether they’ve made any efforts to rehabilitate
  • To take into account the prospect that the applicant or employee didn’t commit the crime they were arrested for or convicted of

You leave things up to an employer’s discretion if you have a criminal record and apply to work for them. The best-case scenario is to never allow the conviction to appear on your record in the first place. This helps avoid all the uncertainty that comes in hoping an employer abides by the Fair Chance Act. You must devise a solid defense strategy to ensure that your efforts to secure an acquittal have the best chance of success.