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December 2016 - City of Los Angeles Adopts Fair Chance Initiative Requiring More Than Just ‘Ban the Box’

Effective January 22, 2017, The Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative prohibits employers located or doing business in the City of Los Angeles with ten or more employees from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history until a conditional offer of employment has been made. Employers are required to provide written assessment(s) to the applicant before taking adverse action using, at a minimum, the EEOC factors related to criminal records.

The ordinance has additional posting and recordkeeping requirements. Employers are required to state in all job ads and solicitations that they will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the law. In addition, employers are required to post a notice informing applicants of the provisions of the law at every workplace in the City. The notice must also be provided to each labor union or representative of workers with which they have an agreement that is applicable to employees within Los Angeles. Records and documents related to the job application, written assessments and reassessments must be retained for three years following the receipt of the initial application.

The law provides exceptions in the following circumstances:

* The employer is required by law to obtain information regarding past convictions.

* The applicant is required to possess or use a firearm in the course of employment.

* An applicant convicted of a crime is prohibited by law from holding the position.

* The employer is prohibited by law from hiring an applicant convicted of a crime.

An applicant or employee can report alleged violations of The Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative via an administrative enforcement process, after which civil action may be taken. Effective July 1, 2017, employers deemed in violation may be subject to City fines of up to $2,000.

The ordinance also includes a ‘whistleblower’ provision, prohibiting employers from taking adverse action against any employee who lodges a complaint of non-compliance with the City. 

Click here to read the full text of The Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative