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League Seeking Amendments to “Ban the Box” Bill, AB 1831

May 11, 2012

AB 1831 (Dickinson) applies to cities and counties and would “ban the box” on any initial employment application that asks applicants about criminal background.


The bill would not apply to applications for criminal justice positions or positions that otherwise require a criminal background check by state law.

The League is seeking amendments to align the bill more closely with existing State Personnel Board (SPB) standards and expand the requirements to all employers instead of only cities and counties.

Cities often perform background checks for positions that are not otherwise required by state law to have background checks but may require handling of sensitive, proprietary, or confidential information such as jobs in finance, information technology or personnel. The ability to screen criminal history for these types of positions should also be allowed.

While SPB has “banned the box” from state applications, it now uses a supplemental questionnaire to ask about criminal backgrounds for any positions for which a criminal history would be relevant. The League is simply asking for the same discretion.

The League is also seeking to expand AB 1831’s requirements to all employers. If the intent of the bill is to remove barriers to employment for people with criminal histories, then limiting the bill’s application to only cities and counties is unproductive and will only burden cities administratively.

The League’s position letter is available on the League’s website by typing “AB 1831” into the search box.

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