The City is required to evaluate the background of each employee. This is a requirement imposed by laws at the State and local levels. In some cases, State and Federal laws prohibit indivudals with certain convictions from holding particular positions, these are known as statutory bars.
Visit our office to have a digital scan of your fingerprints taken using optical technology, no ink.
Your fingerprints are scurely transmitted to the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for review and comparison. These agencies will provide a report of results back to the City, typically within 48 hours, for review.
The presence of a conviction does not immediatly prohbit City employment.
The City's conviction history team will review the report that was provided by the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation against that particular requirements of the position. In addition to statutory bars, the team is looking for a "nexus" or intersection between convictions and job duties, system and other access, and equipment requirements.
To help you navigate this process, we have provided the answers to some frequent questions about the conviction history review process.
State and local laws require the City and County of San Francisco (the City) to consider each selected candidate's conviction history to determine whether the nature of their conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the position for which they have applied. For some City positions, State or Federal law may also require a background check based on a statutory bar.
An arrest or conviction history, generally, does not automatically prohibit you from City employment. The City looks at conviction history on a case-by-case basis and evaluates several factors related to the conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) in determining your suitability for the position. Those factors include the following:
For some City positions, State or Federal law may bar individuals with certain convictions from working in those positions depending on the nature of the work and the work location. If a candidate has a conviction history that makes it illegal to work in a certain classification or position, then they may not work in that particular position. However, it does not automatically bar them from City employment in other classifications or positions.
Any conviction(s) determined to be in conflict with the duties and responsibilities of the position for which you applied will be considered in determining your suitability for employment. Such determinations are made on a case-by-case basis and are specific to the position for which you applied.
Note: candidates for positions as peace officers or for positions with a criminal justice agency (as defined in Penal Code Section 13101) are subject to disclosure requirements.
Any arrest or detention that did not result in a conviction is not considered during a conviction history review, unless the position is with a criminal justice agency or subject to Health and Safety Code Section 1250.
The following convictions are not considered:
If it is determined that you are not eligible for a position based on your conviction history, that determination only pertains to that specific position; you are not automatically excluded from any other position(s) with the City and County of San Francisco. Additionally, you may appeal the decision to the Civil Service Commission (Commission). Individuals who are not eligible for a position based on conviction history will receive specific instruction on how to file an appeal. Appeals must be received in writing within five business days of the date of the Conviction History Notice of Determination.
Clean Slate is a program of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office that can help people “clean up” their criminal records. For more information about the program, please contact the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office at (415) 553-9337.
Statutory bars to employment exist for certain positions, and if a person is convicted of specific offenses, that person is automatically ineligible for the job. Statutory bars are federal, state, or local laws that automatically disqualify applicants from positions that have certain responsibilities, such as supervising minors.