Effective August 13, 2014, the Fair Chance Ordinance (the “FCO”) (see also the FCO FAQs) requires covered employers, contractors, and housing providers to review an individual’s qualifications before inquiring about his/her criminal history and follow strict rules for using the information.
The FCO applies to private employers that are located or doing business in the city and county of San Francisco, and employ 20 or more persons worldwide. This 20-person threshold includes owner(s), management, and supervisory personnel. The FCO covers positions (including contractor and other status) located within San Francisco, regardless of where the employer is located, as long as the position is “in whole, or in substantial part, within the city.” San Francisco’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (the “OLSE”) interprets “in substantial part” to mean an average of eight hours of work performed per week in San Francisco.
Along with banning inquiries about a criminal history or pending charges on the job application or during the first live interview, the FCO prohibits asking about six categories of criminal record information altogether, and mandates significant measures for individualized assessment, including considering only “directly-related convictions that have a direct and specific negative bearing on the