SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Santa Maria Country Club is a refuge for fun and hospitality for many people in the Santa Maria area - including its employees.
"We're here to offer fun so what better place to come every day to a country club that has all the amenities that we have," said Joe Priddy, General Manager of the county club.
In order to work here, Priddy says you have to be friendly, outgoing and enjoy the hospitality business - even if you have a criminal history.
"When we do make an offer to somebody well then it's contingent upon the background check or based upon the type of position it is," Priddy explained.
Starting on January First, employers like Priddy can no longer ask potential employees to disclose their criminal backgrounds or their previous salary information on job applications.
Businesses now have to take it upon themselves to do some digging. For smaller businesses, doing these searches may be intimidating, but Priddy hopes this doesn't scare away other small business owners, telling us: "I don't think they should be feeling nervous.. I mean I'm not the expert on it but sorta seems that if you do it that way, you should have confidence in the system."
Now according to the Public Policy Institute of California, 61 percent of people who leave a California state prison end up back in the system in less than one year. It's possible that this new change will cut down on that statistic as well as lessen the gender pay gap.