California was one of the first states to introduce Ban the Box legislation in 2017, prohibiting employers with five or more employees from asking job applicants about their criminal histories before making a job offer. Now, four years later, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is reminding employers they are serious about enforcement. The DFEH recently announced a new effort to identify and correct violations of the Ban the Box law by conducting mass searches of online job advertisements for violations. Through this search, they found over 500 job advertisements that used unlawful language focused on employers not considering job applicants with criminal records, and sent notices to the companies in violation to remove those unlawful statements.
Additionally, the DFEH is now offering resources to assist employers with compliance. According to their press release:
DFEH’s 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; and
- An informational video that explains the Fair Chance Act.
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