Reprinted from The Sacramento Bee by Alexei Koseff on December 29, 2017.
Every year, the California Legislature passes hundreds of bills, ranging from technical clarifications to funding proposals that keep the state running. How have they changed your world this time? Here are some of the new laws – the useful, the controversial, and the downright quirky – taking effect on January 1, 2018.
A prospective employer will no longer be able to decide how much money to offer you by asking what you made at your last job. Under Assembly Bill 168, the salary history of job applicants can only be disclosed voluntarily. Supporters say the law could help women closethe persistent gender pay gap. Assembly Bill 1008 aims to improve employment prospects for formerly incarcerated job seekers by banning the box on applications that asks about criminal conviction history. It builds on a 2013 law for public employment in California, expanding the policy to cover most private companies in the state as well. Employers will still be able to conduct a background check once a conditional offer has been made, but the law, which is part of a national ban-the-box movement, is meant to give former convicts a better opportunity to be considered on their merits before they are judged for past mistakes. …