On April 3, 2018, San Francisco amended its Fair Chance Ordinance, the city and county’s so-called “ban-the-box” legislation that limits how private employers can use an applicant’s criminal history in employment decisions. The amendments, which take effect on October 1, 2018, expand the scope and penalties of the San Francisco ordinance and add to the growing framework of ban-the-box legislation across California. The complete text of the amendment can be found here.
On February 14, 2014, San Francisco passed the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance and became the latest national municipality to “ban the box” and limit the use of criminal background checks in employment hiring decisions. The deadline for San Francisco employers to comply with the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance is August 13, 2014. The “ban the box” campaign continues to gain momentum – San Francisco joins other cities (Buffalo, Newark, Philadelphia, and Seattle) and states (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Rhode Island) who do not allow employers to ask about prior criminal convictions on initial job applications, and similar legislation is currently pending at state and local levels around the United States. We present an overview of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance and recommended best practices for compliance here.