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21 Dec

December 2021: California DFEH Releases Fair Chance Toolkit and Guidance (Updated)

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in California.

What happened?
In our previous communication here: Link, we informed you about new efforts to identify and correct violations of the Fair Chance Act. This is an update about additional details under the law.

What are the details?
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.

The DFEH has been utilizing technology to conduct mass searches of online job advertisements for statements that violate the Fair Chance Act. In a one-day review, for example, DFEH found over 500 job advertisements with unlawful statements that the employer will not consider any job applicant with a criminal record. DFEH is documenting these violations and sending notices to the employer to remove the unlawful statement.

In response to this, on October 20, 2021, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) announced new efforts to identify and correct violations of the Fair Chance Act by releasing a toolkit that includes sample forms and guides that will assist employers to stay in compliance.

The new Fair Chance Act Toolkit includes:

  • Sample forms that employers can use to follow the Fair Chance Act’s required procedures.
  • A guide to using DFEH’s sample forms.
  • A suggested statement that employers can add to job advertisements and applications to let applicants know that the employer will consider individuals with criminal histories. 
  • Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Fair Chance Act.
  • An informational video that explains the Fair Chance Act.

For more information, please see the links below:

California DFEH Press Release

Fair Chance Act: Tool Kit

Q&A (English)Q&A (Spanish)

Article 1Article 2

11/16/2021 – Vensure Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the link to the toolkit provided above and adjust the wording of any job postings by removing any blanket statements regarding former criminal history.