A few months ago, we reported that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an amendment to the Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO), effective October 1, 2018. The amended Fair Chance Ordinance regulates when and how San Francisco employers and city contractors may ask about and use arrest and conviction records when making hiring decisions.

We are pleased to report that the city’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement has released a new Fair Chance Ordinance notice that reflects the amendment. The notice has a publication date of 10/1/2018.

New Fair Chance Requirements for San Francisco Employers

The amendment expands the scope of the Fair Chance Ordinance to include all employers with 5 or more employees worldwide, as well as city contractors of any size. Previously, the ordinance applied to employers with 20 or more employees.

Under the FCO, employers may only conduct a background check or inquire about convictions or unresolved arrests after making a conditional offer of employment to an applicant or employee. The previous information about making inquiries related to an individual’s conviction history and unresolved arrests “after a live interview” does not appear on the new notice.

As required by the previous ordinance, after making a conditional offer of employment, an employer may only consider convictions that are directly related to the job. However, the list of convictions an employer may never consider has now been expanded to include the following:

  • A conviction that is more than 7 years old (unless the position involves supervising or providing services to minors, seniors, or dependent adults)
  • Infractions (except driving record convictions when driving is part of the job)
  • A conviction for decriminalized conduct, including the non-commercial use and cultivation of cannabis

Last but not least, employers should be aware that they must provide a copy of the new Fair Chance Ordinance notice to applicants and employees prior to conducting a background check. In addition, employers must post the notice in English, Spanish, and Chinese and any other language spoken by at least 5% of the employees at the workplace or job site. 

Future Labor Law Changes for the City by the Bay

We are anticipating some changes to our San Francisco poster in 2019, including an annual update to the Health Care Security Ordinance, effective January 1, 2019, and an update to the Minimum Wage Ordinance (the city’s first annual increase based on the Consumer Price Index), effective July 1, 2019.

We Can Keep You in Compliance

If you order our City/County Poster 1-Year Plan, you will automatically receive the updated San Francisco poster as soon as it is available. And because we provide free poster updates for mandatory changes—no matter how many occur during the 12-month period—you can always count on Poster Compliance Center to keep you in compliance!