Garcia-Brower v. Premier Automotive Imports of California, LLCAnnotate this Case
Labor Code section 432.7 prohibits an employer from asking a job applicant to disclose any conviction that has been judicially dismissed and bars an employer from using any record of a dismissed conviction as a factor in the termination of employment. Molina was hired by Premier in 2010; she did not disclose a dismissed 2010 conviction for misdemeanor grand theft on her job application. She passed Premier’s criminal background check and had been working for four weeks when the DMV mistakenly reported that Molina had an active criminal conviction. Rather than investigate the discrepancy, Premier terminated Molina for “falsification of job application,” although she explained that her conviction had been dismissed. The DMV issued a corrected notice three weeks later. Molina was not rehired and filed a retaliation complaint with the Labor Commissioner, which determined that Molina had been unlawfully discharged and ordered her reinstatement with back pay. Premier’s administrative appeal was denied. When Premier did not comply, the Commissioner filed an enforcement action.
The court of appeal reversed the dismissal of the suit. Premier was not entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The Commissioner presented sufficient evidence that Premier was aware or had reason to believe that Molina’s criminal conviction had been dismissed and to allow a jury to infer that Premier retaliated against Molina for failing to disclose her dismissed conviction and that Premier used the dismissed conviction as an impermissible factor in her termination.