San Francisco’s “Ban the Box” Ordinance Goes Into Effect on August 13, 2014

Earlier this year, San Francisco enacted an ordinance limiting how certain employers can inquire and use criminal background information relating to applicants and employees.  The ordinance, which is technically called the “Fair Chance Ordinance” but is frequently referred to as the “Ban the Box” ordinance, goes into effect on August 13, 2014.  Under the new law, employers are prohibited from inquiring into or using certain types of criminal background information, are restricted in terms of the timing of when permissible background information inquiries can be made, and must comply with stringent record-keeping and procedural requirements starting on August 13th.

Therefore, if your organization does business in San Francisco and employs 20 or more employees anywhere, it’s time to confirm that your employment applications, job postings, policies, adverse action notices, disclosure/authorization forms, and background check procedures are in compliance with the law.  Employees who will be responsible for recruiting and conducting background checks should also be trained on how to comply with the ordinance’s requirements.  The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (“OLSE”) also issued a notice that must be posted in the workplace by August 13th which is available here.  While the OLSE also indicated that it would be issuing regulations and FAQs regarding the ordinance, it has yet to issue any further guidance or information about the ordinance to date.

Click here for a detailed outline regarding the law’s requirements.

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