Legislative Update: Los Angeles, CA “Ban-the-Box”

The City of Los Angeles, California recently approved a new Ban-the-Box ordinance. This ordinance is titled the, “Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring,” and was signed into law by Mayor Eric Garcetti on December 9, 2016. The ordinance has an effective date of January 22, 2017 and is designed to prevent private employers (non-government) within the Los Angeles city limits with 10 or more employees from requiring a job applicant to disclose criminal history, or from companies performing criminal background checks, until after a conditional offer of employment has been made to the applicant.

The Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring requires employers to perform an individual written assessment of each applicant’s criminal history, as related to the potential risks inherent to the job duties the applicant is seeking. This new hiring process is very similar to the the New York City Article 23-A process and requires private employers to consider factors established by the EEOC and the City of Los Angeles within there assessment. Additional factors private employers should consider:

  1. Employer blanket policies that prevent the hiring of applicants with criminal convictions should be closely reevaluated by legal counsel to ensure compliance with the new ordinance.
  2. As with Pre-Adverse and Adverse Action under the FCRA, this new ordinance requires employers to allow applicants the opportunity to confirm or refute the details in their criminal background report and the applicant may provide documentation in support of the reports accuracy or inaccuracy. Applicants must also be allowed to provide related rehabilitation documents which may factor into the employer’s risk assessment of hiring the job applicant.
  3. Exceptions to this ordinance do exist for a.) employers are required by law to run criminal background checks or the law prevents applicants with criminal convictions from holding job sought or being hired, b.) job requires the use of a firearm.

For further detailed information on the subject, please view the following sources: