On February 11, 2014, the SF Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a new ordinance barring most employers and housing providers from (1) asking applicants to disclose their criminal background in the application process, and (2) using criminal background history or records in the employment or housing selection process.
This so-called “Ban the Box” law is intended to prevent employers and housing providers from asking applicants to check boxes on an application disclosing whether or not they have a criminal background. The goal of the ordinance is to prevent employers and housing providers from discriminating against ex-offenders who have paid their debt to society and taken the necessary steps to rehabilitate themselves.
Mayor Lee now has 10 days to decide whether or not to sign the ordinance. If signed, it will become effective within 30 days.
If passed, the new law would covers businesses that are: (1) located or doing business in San Francisco, (2) that employ at least 20 employees, whether located in San Francisco or anywhere else, and (3) offering employment that is physically located, in whole or in part, in San Francisco.
In addition to the new s prohibitions on the inquiry into and/or use of criminal background information, the “Ban the Box” law would also bring new posting requirements. The new law would compel employers to post in a conspicuous place a poster produced by SF’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) at every workplace, job site, or other location in San Francisco under the employer’s control.
You can read more about the new “Ban the Box” ordinance on the Board of Supervisors’ legislative page here. Stay tuned for a further post, with a more thorough analysis, if the Mayor signs the ordinance (as he is expected to d0).