The Fair Chance Act first started being enforced here in California on Jan. 1, 2018. It’s a law that aims to give job applicants an equal playing field for acquiring a job, regardless of their criminal status.
This law is advertised on almost every job vacancy you might read. It requires employers to avoid performing background checks on applicants until they extend them a conditional job offer. State officials argue that this gives all qualified applicants a fair shot to interview for a position.
This law allows employers to pull a background report for an employee and perform an individualized assessment only after extending a conditional offer of employment. An employer may rescind their offer after performing such a check. Any employer’s deviation from taking the steps outlined in the Fair Chance Act may be unlawful and discriminatory.
How far back can employers look in background checks?
California’s Fair Chance Act outlines how employers can only review the criminal histories for the past seven years when weighing a prospective employee’s background and whether to hire them.
What’s involved in an employer’s personalized assessment?
Government officials recommend that employers weigh the following factors when determining whether to extend a firm job offer to a prospective employee who has a criminal record:
- The length of time that has elapsed since the conviction occurred or the completion of the sentence.
- How the prospective employee’s past conviction relates to the role that they’ve applied for.
- Evidence that the prospective employee has made rehabilitative efforts.
- Any evidence that the prospective employee might not have committed the crimes they were convicted of.
It’s unlawful for employers to violate existing California labor laws. You may have a valid reason to sue for discrimination if you can show that your employer violated the Fair Employment Act as part of the hiring process.