CalChamber-Opposed Criminal History Bill Stalls in Senate

A California Chamber of Commerce-opposed bill that would have limited an employer’s ability to maintain a safe work environment for employees and consumers by precluding employers from inquiring into an applicant’s juvenile convictions, failed to pass the Senate yesterday.

AB 1843 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley) precluded employers from inquiring into any “adjudication” made by the juvenile court, including such crimes as are listed under Welfare and Institutions Code Section 707(b) (murder, arson, rape, sodomy, kidnapping, discharge of a firearm).

“Adjudication” is a final determination by a court as to whether the juvenile committed the crime of which he or she is accused. If the juvenile was found guilty of a crime such as those listed above, the employer should be able to inquire into this determination for purposes of maintaining a safe work environment for employees and consumers.

Key Vote

AB 1843 failed to pass the Senate on a vote of 17-13; reconsideration was granted.

Ayes: Allen (D-Santa Monica), Beall (D-San Jose), Block (D-San Diego), de León (D-Los Angeles),  Glazer (D-Contra Costa), Hall (D-Los Angeles), Hancock (D-Berkeley), Hill (D-San Mateo), Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Lara (D-Bell Gardens), Leno (D-San Francisco), Leyva (D-Chino), Mendoza (D-Artesia), Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), Monning (D-Carmel), Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), Wieckowski (D-Fremont).

Noes: Anderson (R-Alpine), Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), Berryhill (R-Twain Harte), Cannella (R-Ceres), Fuller (R-Bakersfield), Gaines (R-El Dorado Hills), Galgiani (D-Stockton), Huff (R-San Dimas), Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), Nielsen (R-Gerber), Vidak (R-Hanford).

Abstaining/Absent: Hernandez, R. (D-West Covina), Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), Hueso (D-San Diego), Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge), McGuire (D-Healdsburg), Pan (D-Sacramento), Roth (D-Riverside), Stone (R-Temecula), Wolk (D-Davis).

Action Needed

Because the bill was granted reconsideration, the Senate may choose to vote on the bill again before the Legislature’s final recess on August 31.

CalChamber is urging businesses to contact their senators and encourage them to vote no on AB 1843.

Staff Contact: Jennifer Barrera

Jennifer Barrera
Jennifer Barrera took over as president and chief executive officer of the California Chamber of Commerce on October 1, 2021. Previously, she oversaw the development and implementation of policy and strategy as executive vice president and represented the CalChamber on legal reform issues. She led CalChamber advocacy on labor and employment and taxation from September 2010 through the end of 2017. As senior policy advocate in 2017, she worked with the executive vice president in developing policy strategy. Before joining the CalChamber, she worked at a statewide law firm that specializes in labor/employment defense. Barrera earned a B.A. in English from California State University, Bakersfield, and a J.D. with high honors from California Western School of Law. See full bio.