WHAT’S NEW IN 2017 « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Ban The Box In The City Of Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles (City) is now the second city in California after San Francisco to restrict employers from asking job applicants about criminal conviction until a conditional offer of employment has been made. See, San Francisco Employers Must Give Former Convicts a Fighting Chance (August, 2014).

Effective January 22, 2017, Los Angeles’ Fair Chance Initiative (the Ordinance) will restrict employers with 10 or more employees located or doing business in the City from making such pre-offer inquiries.

The Ordinance covers many key points including:

Who is an Employer. Any individual, firm, corporation partnership, labor organization, group of persons, association, or other organization however organized, that is located or doing business in the City and that employs ten or more employees. Employer includes job placement and referral agencies and other employment agencies. It does not include the City of Los Angeles, any other local governmental unit or federal government.

Who is an Employee. Any individual who performs at least two hours of work on average each week within the geographic boundaries of the City and is entitled to receive minimum wage (or higher).

Definition of “Conditional Offer of Employment.” An offer of employment that is conditioned only on an assessment of the applicant’s criminal history, if any, and the duties and responsibilities of the employment position.

Employer Assessment. The employer must perform a written assessment that effectively links the specific aspects of the applicant’s criminal history with the risks inherent in the duties of the employment position sought by the applicant.

Fair Chance Process: An applicant must have the opportunity to provide information or documentation to an employer regarding the accuracy of his/her criminal history.

Designated Administrative Agency (DAA). The Department of Public Works, Bureau of Contract Administration will be the DAA in charge of all the administrative responsibilities under this new law.

Penalty and Administrative Fines. Up to $500 for the first violation, up to $1,000 for the second and up to $2,000 for the third and subsequent violations of the Ordinance other than sections 189.04 and 189.06. Penalties and administrative fines shall be up to $500 for each violation of sections 189.04 and 189.06 concerning posting at the job site, advertisements for positions, and record retention. This provision will not apply prior to July 1, 2017; instead the DAA shall only issue written warnings.

Notice and Posting Requirements. Employers shall post a notice informing applicants of the provisions of this new law in a conspicuous place in the workplace, job site, or other location in the City under Employer’s control and visited by employment applicants. Employers must also send a copy of such notice to each applicable labor union with which they have a collective bargaining agreement.

Affected employers should review and comply with this new law, including reviewing and modifying employee applications and adjusting assessment and interviewing protocol, to ensure lawful and timely inquiry into an applicant’s criminal history.

Click here for access to the forms and posters related to the Ordinance.

For further information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth

January 18, 2017