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Posted on January 12, 2017

Understanding the Fair Chance Process

Employers that are located or doing business in the City of Los Angeles and have 10 or more employees will need to take immediate steps to comply with the requirements of a new ordinance.

The “Fair Chance Initiative” ordinance imposes strict conditions on how and when employers can obtain criminal history information and also mandates a new poster for Los Angeles employers.

The ordinance is effective January 22, 2017.

Under the ordinance, employers in Los Angeles are prohibited from asking about criminal history on job applications. An employer is also prohibited from asking about or requiring disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history until a conditional offer of employment has been made.

After a conditional offer of employment is made, the employer can ask about criminal history information. However, the employer cannot take any adverse action, such as withdrawing the job offer, against the applicant because of the applicant’s criminal history unless procedures, known as the “Fair Chance Process,” are followed.

The City of Los Angeles ”Fair Chance Process” includes:

  1. The employer must complete a written assessment that links the specific criminal history with risks inherent in the duties of the position sought by the applicant.
  2. The employer must allow the applicant the opportunity to provide information or documentation to the employer about the accuracy of the applicant’s criminal history. Also, the applicant must be allowed to provide information or documentation, such as rehabilitation or other mitigating factors, which should be considered in the employer’s written assessment.

The employer must provide the applicant with written notification of the intent to withdraw the offer and a copy of the written assessment the employer prepared. The applicant must then be given at least five business days to complete the process and to provide any additional information or documentation to the employer.

The ordinance also requires employers to state, in all job solicitations, postings, and advertisements, that the employer will consider applicants in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Fair Chance Initiative.

Employers must post a notice in every workplace, job site or other location in the City of Los Angeles that is visited by applicants, informing applicants of their rights under the ordinance.

Actions for Employers who Have Employees in the city of Los Angeles

  • Update all job postings and advertisements to include the required statement of compliance.
  • Ensure your employment applications do not request criminal history.
  • Do not ask applicants about criminal history during the application or interview process, and do not try to obtain such information through any other means.
  • Post required notification in all Los Angeles locations where applicants will see it.

Lauren Sims is the author and a Principal HR Consultant with eqHR Solutions.

Whenever you require Human Resources or Payroll advice or help to navigate the ever-changing landscape of California and Federal Employment Laws & Regulations, call us for a no obligation consultation.

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