Lawsuit Against Grocery Store Filed Under California Fair Chance Act

Filed in late 2023 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the lawsuit claims repeated disregard for certain requirements of the Act.

Allegations against Ralph's Grocery Stores were brought by the California Civil Rights Department (CRD) in December, 2023. Per the results of an investigation, the CRD claims that numerous applicants were declined job offers based on conviction histories that did not qualify as legitimate grounds for withdrawing a conditional offer of employment as defined by the Act. The CRD further alleges that these violations have been taking place since the law's enactment.

Taking effect in 2018, the Act prohibits employers with five or more employees from inquiring about a candidate's conviction history before making a conditional job offer. If a conditional offer is made, the employer is required to follow specific procedures for considering any criminal history revealed, as the Act limits the types of convictions that suffice as a reason for disqualification. This predominantly includes convictions with a directly adverse relationship to the job responsibilities associated with the applicable position.

The CRD has also embarked on other enforcement efforts including investigating hundreds of complaints alleging employment discrimination based on criminal history information. Approximately 70 settlements have been ascertained by the CRD on behalf of impacted individuals.

Employers in California are encouraged to closely review the terms of the Act and revise internal hiring practices as applicable.

Posted: March 19, 2024

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