What is the California Fair Chance Act?
The Fair Chance Act, also known as “Ban the Box,” is a California law meant to ensure that individuals with conviction records are more fairly considered for jobs. As of 2018, most California employers are not allowed to ask about conviction history on a job application or run a conviction background check on you until they offer you the job.
When can Metro ask about my conviction record?
Metro may ask about conviction history or run a background check only after you’re offered the job (sometimes called a “conditional offer”), and your written permission is required to do a background check.
Is any arrest or conviction information off limits?
Yes, with some exceptions. Metro cannot ask about or consider arrests (except currently open cases), diversion programs, juvenile court records and expunged (“dismissed”) convictions.
Can an employer revoke my job offer after learning of my conviction record?
Yes, but only after following certain procedures. Metro must:
- Consider how long ago your conviction occurred and whether it’s directly related to the job.
- Notify you in writing, identify the conviction(s) that are the problem, provide you with a copy of your record, and give you a date by which you can respond.
- Allow you at least five business days to respond. If the conviction report is not accurate, you can respond by submitting evidence showing those inaccuracies. You can also submit information showing that the employer should hire you anyway, such as letters of reference, an explanation of what led to the conviction, and proof of recent education, training, volunteering or work experience.
- Notify you in writing if Metro decides to revoke your job offer.
I believe my Fair Chance Act rights were violated when I applied for a job. What can I do?
If you believe your Fair Chance Act rights may have been violated after January 1, 2018, you can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The employer may be ordered to change its behavior and compensate you for violating your rights. There are a few ways to file a complaint:
- File a complaint online at https://ccrs.dfeh.ca.gov
- Download an intake form and email it to email@example.com or mail it to 2218 Kausen Drive, Suite 100, Elk Grove, CA 95758.
- Visit a DFEH office
For more information, call DFEH at 800.884.1684
What other rights do job seekers and workers have?
State and federal civil rights laws (and California regulations) forbid employers from discriminating against people of color, including when screening for conviction records. If you are denied a job because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age (40 and over), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, and/or any other basis protected under federal or state employment discrimination laws, including a conviction not related to the job, you may file a complaint.