Oct 30

What is the Fair Chance Employment Act?

In 2018 a new law went live to help Californian residents with criminal convictions in their past overcome discrimination in employment. It is called The Fair Chance Employment Act and it limits when a potential employer can review a person’s past criminal convictions.

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing website (https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/fair-chance-act/employment-rights/)

Employers (with 5 or more employees) are prohibited from:

  • Including on a job application any questions about conviction history before a conditional job offer has been made
  • Asking about or considering your criminal history before a conditional job offer has been made
  • Considering information about arrests not followed by conviction, participation in pretrial or posttrial diversion programs, or convictions that have been sealed, dismissed, expunged, or statutorily eradicated
  • Including on a job application that a criminal history would disqualify one from employment prior to application
  • Considering, distributing, or disseminating information about your referral to or participating in a pretrial or post-trial diversion program
  • Not making an individualized assessment considering the nature and gravity of the conduct, the time passed, and the nature of the job held or sought
  • Not explaining your right to submit evidence challenging the conviction history report, mitigating circumstances, or circumstances regarding your rehabilitation
  • Not notifying you in writing of your right to file a complaint with DFEH

After making a job offer, employers are allowed to conduct a criminal history check. But under the law, employers cannot take back a job offer based on an applicant’s criminal history without going through a process that includes:

  • Making an individualized assessment that justifies denying the applicant the position;
  • Notifying the applicant in writing of a preliminary decision to take back the offer;
  • Giving the applicant a chance to provide additional information; and
  • Notifying the applicant in writing of a final decision to take back the offer and informing the applicant of the right to complain to DFEH.

Source: (https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/fair-chance-act/employment-rights/)

Additional Resources and information are available:

California: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/fair-chance-act

Los Angeles County: https://fairchance.lacounty.gov/the-fair-chance-act

City of Los Angeles: https://bca.lacity.org/fair-chance

** Note: The Fair Chance Employment Act does may not apply for all types of jobs. Jobs with vulnerable populations (example: working with children, elderly people, disabled people, or incarcerated people); Jobs with LYFT or UBER; or jobs with government agencies (example: law enforcement, working with private financial information). For more information please visit: (https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/fair-chance-act/employment-rights/) **