Many states have been enacting “Fair Chance” laws, which provide leniency to people who have a criminal history. The laws typically protects people who have been convicted of crimes that have since been decriminalized – such as marijuana use and/or possession laws. Fair Chance laws may also exclude convictions that have no bearing on the job an applicant is applying for.

It can get confusing when county governments and municipalities enact ordinances that may add more restrictions than the state laws. California is a great example, where Los Angeles County, the city of Los Angeles and San Francisco have all enacted ordinances that differ from the state’s Fair Chance law.

The County’s ordinance goes into effect September 3, 2024. The ordinance is consistent with the current state law but there are additional provisions that could affect your hiring.

Employers must comply with a requirement to provide written notice related to the criminal background check along with any other information that may be reviewed. The ordinance requires employers to retain pertinent records for a minimum of four years. Failure to meet all steps may cause recriminations for employers, from sanctions to the possibility of being sued.

In the Adverse Action process, there are new documentation requirements, a rule stating that all communications must be sent via mail in addition to email, and specific timeframes employers must allow for candidates to dispute background check results.

Los Angeles County has said that employers cannot pass over a candidate for employment due to a hold-up on a background check. Businesses must wait at least 10 business days and then communicate why further delay would represent an undue burden.

Legal Locator Service reviews all laws and ordinances when screening backgrounds. We ensure that companies conduct screenings that are thorough and compliant. Call us at 866-225-2435 (toll-free) or 503-697-5821. Certified Women-Owned Business. Multilingual Speaking office.

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