The “Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring” ordinance, also called the “Ban the Box” ordinance, is now law in the City of Los Angeles. As previously reported, this ordinance effectively eliminates the commonly used criminal history check box found on many employment applications.
The ordinance, which also imposes a new poster requirement, took effect January 22, 2017. However, there is a six-month grace period before penalties and fines kick in on July 1.
The ordinance applies to all employers that are located or doing business in the City of Los Angeles and that employ 10 or more employees.
Covered employers may not ask about criminal history on job applications. Also, employers may not, at any time and by any means, inquire about or require disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history unless and until a conditional offer of employment has been made.
After a conditional offer has been made, employers must follow certain procedures and restrictions before using any conviction history information to make decisions about employment.
Employers covered by the new ordinance need to review job applications, especially those employers that use a uniform multi-state job application. Also review other hiring and employment documentation.
More information can be found on the city’s Bureau of Contract Administration website. Need a Los Angeles poster? Check out CalChamber’s selection of Los Angeles Labor Law posters.
San Francisco also has a ban the box ordinance, which has been in place since August of 2014.
Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Employment Law Counsel/Content
CalChamber members can visit the HR Library’s Obtaining Criminal History page for more information on the ordinance and for an employment application that can be used in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Not a member? Learn more about what HRCalifornia can do for you.