When you run a business, you often rely on staff members to help with daily operations. Finding candidates that meet your education and job experience qualifications may not be of concern, though you probably have additional expectations.
The Fair Chance Act made it illegal for employers to question applicants’ criminal history before extending a conditional job offer. If you employ five or more employees, violations could result in a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Before you publish a new job posting online, understand that new oversight provides increased scrutiny.
Technology for reducing discrimination
The DFEH now utilizes web search tools to identify illegal job criteria. For example, blanket statements that exclude anyone with a criminal background do not comply with the law. Individualized assessments are necessary to minimize stereotypes that contribute to recidivism.
Employers must recognize that individuals make mistakes. Involvement with law enforcement shouldn’t inherently prevent one’s ability to earn a living.
Three considerations for employment decisions
After you present a conditional offer, you may request permission to run an applicant’s background check. You’ll need to address any allegations according to the nature of the prospective position, the amount of time passed since the offense and the gravity of the situation.
Even if you become aware of an applicant’s questionable background, not all circumstances allow you to rescind a job offer. Although exceptions may apply, this generally includes:
- An arrest without a conviction
- A sealed or expunged conviction
- Participation in a diversion program
Be sure to understand the proper procedure for revoking a conditional employment offer if you identify a conflict of interest. Then allow the applicant a chance to respond accordingly.
DFEH monitoring should help you reduce discrimination. But before you announce an open position within your company, remember you could face trouble with the law if you don’t adhere to it.