Crucial Reminders About California’s Fair Chance Act

When it comes to enacting laws aimed at protecting employees and job seekers, California has always been a trailblazer. An example of a law aimed at promoting fair employment opportunities for individuals in California that was enacted some years back is the Fair Chance Act (AB 1008), also known as the “Ban the Box” law. This law generally prohibits employers from asking applicants about their conviction history before offering them a conditional offer of employment. AB 1008 ensures that employers impartially consider all job applicants by postponing when they can inquire about an applicant’s conviction history.

It is crucial to understand the requirements and provisions under AB 1008. This article shares some crucial reminders about the Fair Chance Act.

Understanding the Fair Chance Act?

This is a law that prohibits California employers from asking a job applicant about their conviction history before making them a conditional offer of employment. This law requires employers to remove the checkbox on job applications that asks about an applicant’s criminal history. This is why it is called the “Ban the Box” law. The Fair Chance Act aims to prevent employers from automatically disqualifying job applicants based on their criminal record. This law encourages employers to consider an individual’s skills and qualifications before considering their past mistakes.

Which Employers are Covered by the Law?

The Fair Chance Act covers all employers with at least five employees. The Fair Chance Act covers temporary employment agencies, labor contractors, union hiring halls, and client employers.

Apart from employers with fewer than five employees, the Fair Chance Act does not apply to;

  • Positions where a company is required to conduct background checks or limit hiring people based on criminal history
  • Law enforcement and criminal justice employers

After an Employer Extends a Conditional Offer, What Can the Employer Ask About or Consider?

After an employee has received a job offer, the employer can ask them if they have ever been convicted. But, an employer cannot inquire about or take the following into consideration;

  • Arrests which never led to a conviction
  • Referral to or being part of a diversion program
  • Sealed, discharged, expunged, or legally erased convictions

Can an Employer Revoke a Job Offer After Learning About an Applicant’s Conviction History?

If an employer extends a conditional offer of employment and then learns about your conviction history, they can revoke the job offer. However, the law provides important rights to job applicants if an employer wants to rescind a job offer. An employer is only allowed to take back their offer after doing the following;

  • Conducting a personalized assessment of your conviction history
  • Providing you with written notification that your criminal history disqualifies you from the job
  • Notifying you about convictions that eliminate you from consideration
  • Providing you a copy of your conviction history report
  • Giving you not less than five days to respond to their decision
  • Considering your response
  • Providing a final notice in writing

Contact a California Employment Lawyer

Contact a California employment lawyer if you need more information on the Fair Chance Act or believe an employer has violated your rights.