San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance Amendment (aka “Ban the Box”)

October 2, 2018 | Shannon Shoemaker

The San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (“FCO”) includes the following amendments to the existing “Ban the Box” laws and are now effective as of October 1, 2018.

Expanded Scope of Coverage

The amended ordinance reduces the number of employees needed to qualify as a covered employer from twenty to five.

Inquiries Prohibited Until After Conditional Offer

The FCO currently allows the employer to inquire into conviction history (and order background reports) after either a live interview with the applicant or a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant. Under the amended ordinance, San Francisco employers can no longer request conviction history information after the interview, but rather, must wait until after a conditional offer of employment is made.

Convictions for Decriminalized Behavior

The amended ordinance prohibits inquiring about, requiring disclosure of, or basing employment decisions on convictions for decriminalized behavior, including, but not limited to, convictions for the non-commercial use and cultivation of cannabis. Existing law permitted this if it was seven years older or less.

Recommended Actions

  • If you have not already done so, review job applications and remove any criminal records inquiries.
  • Review your hiring and interview policies and processes. Revise them to ensure they are not inquiring about off limits information.
  • Train all individuals involved in recruitment, hiring, and interviewing, to comply with the requirements of this law. Learn more about the 2018 Amendment


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