Last December, the City of Los Angeles passed the “Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring” (the ordinance) which imposes a whole host of new unlawful hiring practices on private employers regarding inquiries into criminal convictions. A key piece of the ordinance prevents employers from asking or requiring applicants to disclose their criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The law went into effect on January 22, 2017, but will not be enforced until July 1, 2017. Violations between the two dates will result in written warnings.
The city has posted printable ordinance forms and posters on its website, which must be displayed in the workplaces of all covered employers.
An applicant or employee alleging a violation of the ordinance has one year to bring a claim before LA’s Department of Public Works, Bureau of Contract Administration, the entity tapped to administer the ordinance. Penalties and administrative fines are up to $500 for the first violation, $1,000 for the second, and $2,000 for the third and subsequent violations.
Employers in LA should review their employment applications and other relevant forms to ensure compliance. Covered employers should also ensure that their human resources personnel are aware of ban the box laws and train them regarding interviews and how to avoid any violations.