Comstock's magazine 0618 - June 2018 - Page 81

Additional provisions of the legislation cover what must happen if a company rejects an applicant with a re- cord. The firm has to notify the applicant in writing and spell out their options for contesting the decision, but isn’t required to explain how the conviction made the applicant unsuitable for the job — though experts say companies still should document internally why they made the deci- sion in case of a complaint. WHAT COMPANIES SHOULD DO NOW TO AVOID LEGAL RISK All of that points to the importance of a structured hiring process and well-trained staff, say employment law yers. All steps in the interview and assessment process should be in writing, says Paul Huston, an employment attorney at Mintz Levin. Everyone involved needs to know that questions about criminal records are off limits before a conditional offer is made. Many employers are using law firms to create compliant policies and standard forms like sample conditional offers and sample revocations of con- ditional offers, he says. Employers who ignore the law could find themselves in trouble. Avery says that complaints will be handled like any other employment matter; after a complaint is filed, EXOTIC PLANTS the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing in- vestigates it and attempts to mediate. If that doesn’t work, the agency or the plaintiff can prosecute the case in court. So far, few cases under the new law have been pursued, says Ebbink. Most complaints have involved egregious vi- olations, like job postings stating that the employer won’t consider applicants with a criminal history. All of those guardrails aim both to help a group of peo- ple who often are distrusted and to give companies a new pool of workers. Beyond that, NCCT’s Meehan thinks em- ployers should let go of popular media images of people who have done time and consider them as individuals. “If they’ve got a bagful of certificates and letters of recom- mendation, that’s who they are today,” he says. n Steven Yoder writes about business, real estate and criminal justice. His work has appeared in The Fiscal Times, Salon, The American Prospect and elsewhere. On Twitter @syo- dertweet and at ACT! SOFTWARE CONSULTING AND SUPPORT Database Customization, Training, Upgrades Act! E-marketing Newsletters & Campaigns As an Act! Certified Consultant, with a certification in Email Marketing, I provide personalized support and hands-on assistance for motivated businesses who want to make the most of their contact management tools. Contact me for a free needs assessment: Moss Wall Art Retail Store | Interiorscape Design Full Plant Care Service | Temporary Event Rental 916.922.4769 1833 Howe Ave Sacramento, CA Chris Pumphrey, ACC 30 years hands-on experience June 2018 | 57