In late October, the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH) announced “a new effort to identify and correct violations of the Fair Chance Act, a pioneering state law that seeks to reduce barriers to employment for individuals with criminal histories. DFEH is utilizing technology to conduct mass searches of online job advertisements for statements that violate the Fair Chance Act.” Among other things, the Department looked at “over 500 job advertisements with unlawful statements that the employer will not consider any job applicant with a criminal record. DFEH is documenting these violations and sending notices to the employer to remove the unlawful statement.”
To help with compliance, the DFEH has published what it calls a “toolkit” under the heading of Guidance for California Employers and Job Applicants. The Fair Chance Act is part of California’s employment anti-discrimination statute called the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which is enforced by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The Fair Chance Act (Ch. 789, L. 2017) added Gov’t. Code Sec. 12952.
DFEH’s new Fair Chance Act Toolkit includes:
- Sample forms that employers can use to follow the Fair Chance Act’s required procedures;
- A guide to using DFEH’s sample forms;
- A suggested statement that employers can add to job advertisements and applications to let applicants know that the employer will consider individuals with criminal histories;
- Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Fair Chance Act; and An informational video that explains the Fair Chance Act.
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More