Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO)

  • Employers covered by the Fair Chance Ordinance are required to submit the online 2017 Employer Annual Reporting Form by April 30, 2018.
    • Please review the 2017 Employer Annual Reporting Form Instructions before you begin. You may also want to download a PDF Preview of the form. 
    • To determine whether you need to complete the form, fill out the four introductory questions here. If you answer these questions accurately and you are not required to complete the form, you will be directed to a web page notifying you that you do not need to continue. 
    • Instructional Webinar: View a recording of OLSE's step-by-step webinar on how to complete the 2017 Employer Annual Reporting Form.
  • Fair Chance Ordinance Amendment: On April 3, 2018, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an amendment to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance. The amendment will become operative on October 1, 2018. The full text of the legislation is available for review. A summary of the changes is provided in the Legislative Digest. Please note that as of October 1, 2018, the law apply to all employers with 5 or more employees. 


Official Poster ThumbnailThe Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO) requires employers to follow strict rules regarding applicants’ and employees’ arrest and conviction record(s) and related information.  Employers with 20 or more employees (total worldwide) and City contractors, subcontractors, and leaseholders are covered by the FCO.

The FCO applies to positions in which the employee works or will work at least eight hours per week in San Francisco, including temporary, seasonal, part-time, contract, contingent, and commission-based work.  It also covers work performed through the services of a temporary or other employment agency, and any form of vocational or educational training - with or without pay.

The Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO) prohibits covered employers from asking about arrest or conviction records on a job application.

The FCO also prohibits covered employers from ever considering the following:

  • An arrest not leading to a conviction, except for unresolved arrests.
  • Participation in a diversion or deferral of judgment program.
  • A conviction that has been dismissed, expunged, otherwise invalidated, or inoperative.
  • A conviction in the juvenile justice system.
  • An offense other than a felony or misdemeanor, such as an infraction.
  • A conviction that is more than 7 years old (unless the position being considered supervises minors or dependent adults). 

In addition, the Ordinance requires covered employers to:

  • State in all job solicitations/ads that qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records will be considered for the position in accordance with this ordinance. (Suggested language: “Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.”)
  • Conspicuously post the Official FCO Notice in every workplace/jobsite under the employer’s control.
  • Before taking adverse action such as failing/refusing to hire, discharging, or not promoting an individual based on a conviction history or unresolved arrest, give the individual an opportunity to present evidence that the information is inaccurate, the individual has been rehabilitated, or other mitigating factors (following procedures outlined in Police Code Section 4909 or Administrative Code Section 12T.4).
  • Provide yearly compliance reports to the OLSE.

If you have questions about the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance or wish to report a violation of the law, call 415-554-5192 or email fco@sfgov.org.

Statutory Authority

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO) in February, 2014.  On April 3, 2018, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an amendment to the FCO. The amendment will become operative on October 1, 2018.

Note that the Fair Chance Ordinance also applies to housing providers: See the Human Rights Commission website for information on that portion of the Ordinance.

Forms and Documents

Related Web Links

  • The California Fair Chance Act (AB-1008) took effect on January 1, 2018. Like the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (FCO), the state law regulates how employers use arrest and conviction records in employment decisions and includes many provisions similar to the FCO.  Employers in San Francisco must comply with both laws.
  • Note that the FCO has its own detailed requirements that are not identical to those laid out in the EEOC Enforcement Guidance and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Fact Sheet below. These resources are linked because they provide useful background information.

Contact Us


Please email fco@sfgov.org or call 415-554-5192 if you have questions about your rights and responsibilities under the Fair Chance Ordinance.

You can also sign up for email updates! Join the OLSE email list to receive periodic updates on the FCO and applicable San Francisco labor laws.


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