The 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 email@example.com.
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.