Bradford Bill Increasing Employment Opportunities for the Rehabilitated Signed by the Governor
SACRAMENTO – On Sunday Governor Brown signed SB 1412 into law. The bill, authored by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), clarifies what information employers may use when screening job applicants. SB 1412 continues the progress that the Legislature and Governor Brown began last year to provide formerly-incarcerated Californians with genuine opportunities to rebuild their lives.
“Formerly incarcerated individuals bear an unfair burden: they must obtain legal employment but their applications are often immediately disqualified for noting a conviction, including those that have been expunged and are irrelevant to the job,” said Senator Bradford. “This barrier is counterproductive because it harms communities by pushing individuals back into a life of crime.”
Under state and federal law, certain employers are required to conduct background checks, which can include records that have been judicially expunged. In some instances, employers go too far when screening job applicants, leading to individuals being denied employment for convictions unrelated to a job for which they are otherwise qualified. SB 1412 clarifies that this is unlawful.
"We seek real, lawful remedies when rebuilding our lives after a conviction, and SB 1412 will help us move forward from the past into the future,” said Susan Burton, Founder and Executive Director of A New Way of Life Reentry Project, the bill’s sponsor. “We thank Senator Bradford for his leadership and the numerous supporters of this bill for their support."
“No one is saying that criminal records or expungements should be ignored,” continued Bradford. “The rehabilitation of those who have atoned for their mistakes is being ignored, and this bill will help end that failure of justice.”
At final passage in the Legislature, SB 1412 faced no opposition from outside stakeholders.
Senator Bradford represents the Los Angeles County communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, San Pedro, Torrance, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington.