Know Your Rights


The law generally prohibits employers from:

  • Including on a job application any questions about conviction history before a conditional job offer has been made
  • Asking about or considering your criminal history before a conditional job offer has been made
  • Considering information about arrests not followed by conviction, participation in pretrial or posttrial diversion programs, or convictions that have been sealed, dismissed, expunged, or statutorily eradicated
  • Including on a job application that a criminal history would disqualify one from employment prior to application
  • Considering, distributing, or disseminating information about your referral to or participating in a pretrial or postrial diversion program
  • Not making an individualized assessment considering the nature and gravity of the conduct, the time passed, and the nature of the job held or sought
  • Not explaining your right to submit evidence challenging the conviction history report, mitigating circumstances, or circumstances regarding your rehabilitation
  • Not notifying you in writing of your right to file a complaint with DFEH

After making a job offer, employers are allowed to conduct a criminal history check. But under the law, employers cannot take back a job offer based on an applicant’s criminal history without going through a process that includes:

  • Making an individualized assessment that justifies denying the applicant the position;
  • Notifying the applicant in writing of a preliminary decision to take back the offer;
  • Giving the applicant a chance to provide additional information; and
  • Notifying the applicant in writing of a final decision to take back the offer and informing the applicant of the right to complain to DFEH.

Communication Center: 800-884-1684 (voice), 800-700-2320 (TTY) or
California's Relay Service at 711 | contact.center@dfeh.ca.gov