As you may recall I have done previous articles on some proposed legislation (new minimum wage going up every year etc.). Well all of those Blog articles were based upon proposed legislation offered bySan Francisco area politicians. Now they are at it again!
California employers already have the additional burden of having a maze of state laws and regulations that surpasses that of any other state of the union. Apparently that is not enough for the political machine in the bay area. The Mayor of San Francisco and his staff are attempting to add some additional discrimination regulations that offer more protection than the California Fair Employment and Housing Act or California Labor Code!
San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission has proposed and is currently debating whether to push the San Francisco Supervisors to enact legislation that would ban discrimination in hiring and housing by private employers and landlords, based on prior criminal convictions. The proposal was initially introduced by the San Francisco Reentry Council, an administrative agency of the city government that assists and coordinates local efforts to support adults exiting San Francisco County Jail, San Francisco juvenile justice out-of-home placements, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facilities, and the United States Federal Bureau of Prison facilities. The Reentry Council feels that with the increased use of background checks and ease of which one can now find information about an individual’s criminal record from internet posted court files, combined with the recent order the United States Supreme Court requiring California to release up to 30,000 prisoners, this provision is necessary to help those released in San Francisco to better integrate into society.
Landlord and employers groups in the city are very disturbed over this proposal and argue that they need to have unfettered jurisdiction to decide whether it is appropriate and safe to employ or rent to former convicts. They cite to the fact that California already has enacted Labor Code provisions that protect individuals from discrimination based on arrests not leading to a conviction and certain marijuana related convictions.
A tall tree can grow from a small acorn! Governor Jerry Brown has spent time in the bay area as a politician. Employers need to understand that he is more than likely listening very closely to any proposed legislation coming out of that area.
I will be paying close attention to this one and keep you posted if it ends up being proposed statewide.