The Fair Chance Act, commonly referred to as California’s “ban the box” law, imposes restrictions on employers with five or more employees from asking a job applicant any questions that seek the disclosure of their conviction history before making a conditional offer of employment. Last year, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) updated regulations governing background checks and published a Frequently Asked Questions page on the statute.

Recently, the DFEH announced new efforts to identify and correct violations of the statute by using technology to conduct mass searches of online job advertisements for potentially prohibited statements. The DFEH deems blanket statements in job advertisements indicating that the employer will not consider anyone with a criminal history to be violative of the statute. In its press release, the DFEH states in one day of review it found over 500 job advertisements with statements that violate the statute.

To assist employers with compliance with the Fair Chance Act, the DFEH has released a new Fair Chance Toolkit, that includes sample forms and guides.

If you have questions about compliance with the Fair Chance Act or related issues pertaining to applicant background checks, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.