1335488_24491270It may be time to review your company’s employment application and hiring process. The common “Have You Ever Been Convicted of a Felony?” question on employment applications will soon be a thing of the past for many California state and local agencies and private sector employers hiring or recruiting applicants to work within the City and County of San Francisco.

Effective July 1, 2014, state and local government agencies will no longer be permitted to ask a job applicant to disclose, in writing or verbally, if they have been convicted of a crime. The agency must first determine that the applicant meets the minimum qualification standards for the position before asking about criminal conviction history. Limited exceptions are provided for positions for which the agency is required by law to conduct a conviction history background check or  for persons working for a criminal justice agency.

Much broader in scope are the restrictions adopted by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The “Fair Chance Ordinance” becomes effective August 13, 2014 and, among other things, prohibits employers from inquiring about criminal conviction history on employment applications and before a first interview or conditional job offer. The Fair Chance Ordinance also mandates pre-adverse action notice procedures and requires notices on advertisements and solicitations “that are reasonable likely to reach persons that are reasonably likely” to seek employment in San Francisco. In the event an applicant has a criminal conviction history, the employer must conduct an individualized assessment of the individual’s eligibility for employment considering only convictions that are directly related, as defined, the time elapsed since the conviction, any evidence of inaccuracy and evidence of rehabilitation or other mitigating measures. The Fair Chance Ordinance also requires employers to post a notice developed by the city. San Francisco employers covered by a collective bargaining agreement must also send this notice to each labor union.

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Photo of Jamerson C. Allen Jamerson C. Allen

Jamerson Allen is a Principal in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and is a contributor to the Disability, Leave & Health Management Blog. He regularly represents and advises clients in a wide variety of employment matters. He is a…

Jamerson Allen is a Principal in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and is a contributor to the Disability, Leave & Health Management Blog. He regularly represents and advises clients in a wide variety of employment matters. He is a Co-Chair of the firm’s Title III ADA Public Accommodations and California Compliance Teams.

Learn more about Mr. Allen on the Jackson Lewis website.

Photo of Cepideh Roufougar Cepideh Roufougar

Cepideh Roufougar is a Principal in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Ms. Roufougar is Co-Leader of the California Advice and Counsel Resource Group. She advises and counsels management in all areas of labor and employment law, with a focus…

Cepideh Roufougar is a Principal in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Ms. Roufougar is Co-Leader of the California Advice and Counsel Resource Group. She advises and counsels management in all areas of labor and employment law, with a focus on identifying practical solutions to help ensure compliance with state and federal law. Ms. Roufougar positions herself as a strategic partner when providing advice and counsel about litigation avoidance, employee management issues, implementing disciplinary actions, and collective bargaining issues. Her ability to see the big picture clearly and understand her client’s businesses in emotionally charged and highly complex disputes has helped her clients financially and prevented litigation. Her clients rely on her to guide them through both short-term and long-term planning to achieve their unique goals and strategies.

Ms. Roufougar is an experienced trainer and presents seminars on a wide range of subjects, including: leave management and reasonable accommodations; preventing discrimination, harassment and retaliation; implementing and sustaining disciplinary actions; conducting defensible workplace investigations; first-line supervisor trainings; performance management/evaluations; and wage and hour issues.

Ms. Roufougar has been successful in helping her clients prevail in numerous arbitrations and administrative appeals. She has extensive experience representing employers in labor and employment disputes. She has defended employers in employment litigation matters, including claims alleging violations of the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act, FLSA collective actions, and claims of harassment and discrimination. Ms. Roufougar also conducts complex workplace investigations.

Before joining Jackson Lewis, Ms. Roufougar practiced at a well-regarded local labor and employment firm and served as in-house counsel for a local public agency.