San Francisco Updated Their Fair Chance Ordinance

November 06, 2018
Employers who have people that work in San Francisco should be aware of and use the current version of this ordinance.
Backgrounds Online | November 06, 2018


Employers who have people that work in San Francisco should be aware of and use the current version of this ordinance.

About The Updates

The City of San Francisco amended their Fair Chance Ordinance, a law that is designed to help people with criminal histories find employment today. This Ordinance covers employers who have individuals that work at least 8 hours per week within San Francisco.

When the Ordinance was originally created, it affected employers with 20 or more employees. The revised version covers employers that have at least 5 people on their staff. It also applies to employment agencies and related businesses, city contractors and sub-contractors.

San Francisco’s updated Fair Chance Ordinance went into effect on October 1, 2018.

Regulations For Employers In San Francisco

Organizations that are covered by the Ordinance should know about the following updates. Affected employers:
· May not ask about arrests or convictions on job applications.
· May not ask about, seek out or request disclosures regarding arrests or convictions until after they make a conditional offer of employment.
· May consider convictions that are related to the job but may not consider:
o Arrests that did not lead to convictions.
o Convictions that were expunged or dismissed.
o Juvenile convictions.
o Convictions that are more than 7 years old (unless the individual will work with vulnerable populations).
o Infractions.
o Participation in a deferral of judgment program.

Employers should be aware that if they do not follow the updated Fair Chance Ordinance, then they could be sued or fined. Penalties have increased to $500 for the first violation; $1,000 for the second and $2,000 for additional violations.

The city of San Francisco created a PDF of the new Fair Chance Ordinance. It must be provided to applicants and posted in English, Spanish, Chinese and any other language spoken by at least 5% of the employees at the workplace or jobsite.

Adverse Actions

Before taking an adverse action, such as revoking a conditional job offer, employers must follow a process established by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. San Francisco created a few specific details for the adverse action process.

An applicant who is being reviewed must receive a copy of their background check if one exists. Then the person has seven days to respond with “evidence of inaccuracies on the background check or evidence of rehabilitation or other mitigating factors.” The FCRA requires a reasonable amount of time but no specific timeframe is listed. If the person supplies evidence of rehabilitation, then the employer must reconsider the adverse action.

Second Chance Laws

Cities and states across the nation have been implementing second chance laws like the updated Fair Chance Ordinance in San Francisco. While none of them are consistent, they all share the same overall goal: to help people who have criminal convictions find employment.

While some convictions are serious and violent enough to cause employers deny employment, many are minor and should not affect the individual’s ability to obtain work. Second chance laws are designed to give these people an opportunity to be interviewed and discuss their qualifications. Employers are allowed and encouraged to run background checks on candidates they are considering, and these laws help make it possible for them to hear from a larger group of people who may be right for a position.

Staying Compliant Throughout The Hiring Process

Since there is no one law that covers second chance concepts in the United States, employers must follow relevant laws where they operate. Backgrounds Online strives to keep up with these laws and provide educational resources to help with your compliance efforts.

Our highly trained team also works diligently to help you create background check packages that provide the details you need to make informed business decisions. To learn how we can help improve your hiring process, please contact us today. .