DFEH Is Increasing Enforcement of Fair Chance Act Protections for Applicants

Job seekers in California may soon notice a number of changes in job postings throughout the Golden State. This new change is the result of a new effort by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to increase enforcement of the Fair Chance Act.

For people who aren’t aware, the Fair Chance Act is California’s version of a “Ban-the-Box” law. These laws attempt to restrict how employers can post jobs, inquire about applicants’ criminal histories, and consider records of conviction. These restrictions are there to try and remove barriers to employment for job seekers with a criminal history who may otherwise face discrimination in hiring decisions.

In California’s case, the Fair Chance Act is a near-perfect example of this type of law, and one of the biggest restrictions it places on employers is prohibiting statements in job postings that might give jobseekers the idea that those with a criminal history might not be considered. Every jobseeker under this law has a right to individual consideration regardless of their run-ins with the criminal justice system. This means that you have the right to a conditional job offer before giving an employer permission to request a background check on you. After this point, the employer must follow certain procedures to individually consider whether any convictions would have a direct impact on your ability to perform the job for which you are being considered before they can rescind an offer.

In order to enforce these provisions, the agency charged with enforcing the Act, the DFEH, has begun a new tactic to help catch violators, and this uses innovative technology to do it. The DFEH is using scanning programs to check countless job postings every day to identify language that violates these requirements. Using this technique, the DFEH found 500 violations in a single day and is sending out notices to the companies telling them that they have to change their postings.

Clearly, this new technique appears highly effective, but the DFEH is also asking applicants to report any job postings with discriminatory language as well. Another tool that can help job applicants is to perform a self background check. This can help identify any mistakes or unfairly included data and correct it before employers have the chance to see it. This can help ensure that your rights to employment are protected, and you have a fair chance for every position.

Your personal background check is required for literally everything in your life these days, from employers to rentals. Take control of yours.


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