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An overview of the Fair Chance Act

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2022 | Firm News |

Like others convicted of crimes, part of avoiding recidivism for you will likely involve maintaining a job and steady income. Having a criminal record, however, you may worry about your prospects.

Taking effect in 2018, the Fair Chance Act provides you and others with protections when seeking employment.

Who does the law apply to?

According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, public and private employers with at least five employees must adhere to the standards of the Fair Chance Act. The act does, however, provide some exceptions, such as for certain jobs at health care facilities or with state criminal justice agencies. Additionally, when employers must perform background checks due to other laws, they may not have to comply with the act.

What does the law prohibit?

The Fair Chance Act prohibits employers from asking about criminal conviction history on job applications. Further, covered employers cannot take applicants’ criminal histories into account when considering them for positions until they have made conditional offers.

Can employers take back offers because of criminal history?

According to Los Angeles County, only after making conditional employment offers may non-exception employers perform background checks on potential hires. At this point, employers have the right to take back their offers. However, they must do some due diligence before doing so. This includes performing an individualized assessment that considers the time passed since the applicant’s conviction and completion of penalties, the gravity and nature of the offense, and the essential job functions and working environment for the job.

In the past, the box on job applications that those with criminal records had to mark often immediately eliminated them from contention for getting the position. Preventing discrimination based on their histories, the Fair Chance Act allows people the opportunity to move forward after completing their sentences.