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New employment law protects Californian former convicts

Workplaces are increasingly where Americans come together. The unity that employees and managers feel when they are on the same professional team can transcend many of the differences that keep citizens and visitors to this nation apart. This is why it is also increasingly important that workplaces are free of discrimination.

Workers who feel discriminated against due to former incarceration or other legal problems scored a victory in Sacramento last month when the governor signed Assembly Bill 1008 into law. This legislation prohibits discrimination against those who formerly served time in prison or on probation.

The law, also referred to as the California Fair Chance Act, is one of the strongest efforts to "ban the box" nationwide. The "box" is the infamous check-box requirement on many employment applications in which interviewees must disclose their former convictions.

Several case studies of former convicts denied work opportunities, as well as the support of several celebrities and personalities, helped to bring the bill to the governor's desk. The National Employment Law Project estimates that one in three Californian adults, or 8 million people statewide, may now apply for work without being unfairly haunted by their past.

Those who believe they have been discriminated against in the workplace or denied a fair opportunity to pursue a job may use mediation or civil suits to rectify the situation. An attorney with experience in employment law can be an indispensible help in building case against workplace discrimination and recovering career options, financial damages or other forms of recompense.

Source: In These Times, "Calif. Just Passed Landmark Law to Stop Bosses From Discriminating Against People with Convictions," Michael Arria, Nov. 06, 2017

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