Criminal Pasts Off-Limits in New California City Laws

(, August 18, 2013 ) Dallas, TX -- The move to prohibit employers from digging into potential employees’ criminal history is one that is designed to help improve the community’s employment prospects amid wider incarceration, and help reduce the crime rates.

Approved by the City Council in a 6-1 vote, the new ordinance will take effect in September. Private companies that have city contracts to finish projects who employ more than nine people will be restricted from asking about an applicant’s criminal record, or they could face losing their contracts with the city.

Andres Abarra, who spent 16 months in San Quentin State Prison for selling heroin, is glad to hear about the new laws. He says he’s paid his debt and the playing field, or workforce, should be fair game for anyone. In 2006, he got a job in warehouse after a temporary agency hired him, but when they ran a background check on him, they let him go on the spot. Now, he worked for an advocacy group called Safe Return, which campaigned for the new ordinance.

Many other cities and states throughout the nation are making this move as well. Last year, Newark, New Jersey, barred private employers and the city government from inquiring into a job applicant’s criminal history until after they made a conditional offer of employment. However, murder, voluntary manslaughter, and sex offenses that require registry can be inquired about no matter how much time has passed since the conviction.


Chad West PLLC ( provides criminal defense in Dallas, Texas. Chad West has been serving clients in the Greater DFW Metroplex for several years. If you’ve been charged with criminal activity, give Chad West a call or visit the website to inquire about Chad’s services.

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Source: EmailWire.Com
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