California Law Impacts Construction Contractors


FEBRUARY 24, 2015


HR departments for contractor agencies in California must take note; a new law prohibits you from inquiring about felony status in those areas. No one may be asked about their previous convictions “on or at” the time of an employment application.

Restrictions and Penalties

Since this is a new law you could be fined or face other business penalties. This law is intended to give a “fair chance” to those who made a mistake earlier in life. Despite convictions being an essential part of most pre-employment screening processes that will not apply here. Managers are well advised to take note of this change.

Exempt Occupations

Contractors who require a security clearance and other jobs that must have a background check are exempt. This does not mean that you can simply start requiring background checks to avoid it. Exemptions like this are only for contractors who deal with national security projects and similar work.

Risks in the Fair Chance System

Due to this you will have to increase scrutiny during work including:

  • Watching new hires closely.
  • Checking in on their progress over the months.
  • Keeping excellent work/material logs on the job.

On the other hand all of these processes are something that a great contractor management company already does. So if you are running an AAA establishment you should not have to worry.

Employee Trust

There is no reason that you should not put trust in each of your contractors. If you cannot do so then you have more problems than this law. In the long run this may be a positive change for many employers since they will need to take stock of how valuable and trustworthy each contractor is.