Effective January 22, 2017 Los Angeles join the long list of cities (Including San Francisco) that have enacted their own version of Ban-the-Box. In general, an employer [located or doing business within Los Angeles and has 10 or more employees] cannot inquire into the applicant’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The ordinance defines a conditional offer of employment as: “an Employer’s offer of Employment to an Applicant conditioned only on an assessment of the applicant’s Criminal History, if any, and the duties and responsibilities of the employment position. In the real world, a conditional offer may be “conditioned” on many factors beyond criminal history.
The “Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring” extends far beyond traditional ban the box laws that simply regulate the timing of the criminal history question. Impacted employers should review the law’s requirements closely and modify practices accordingly.
The ordinance adopts a similar process as did New York City requiring a “Fair Chance Process” wherein the employer must assess the criminal record history to the job in question. However, Los Angeles desires to out-do New York City as it requires employers to go through this process twice. The first round is after the employer receives the criminal record information. The employer is to consider the criminal record in conjunction with the factors announced by the EEOC when determining of relevance of a criminal record to a job. We assume that these are the eight factors listed in the 2012 EEOC Guidance, but the ordinance does not spell this out. This requires a written assessment of that analysis. At the first stage it is likely that an employer would not have all the information necessary to do such a complete analysis of the 8 factors. Also provided in the ordinance is that the city may in the future add additional or replacement criteria upon which the employer must make its written assessment. There is no form for the assessment provided at this time. Functionally, the first assessment is at the pre-adverse action stage of the FCRA process [include written assessment with Pre-Adverse Action Notice], but these requirements exist whether or not the employer is using a CRA or other third party to obtain criminal record information.
See The State Rules Register Alerts of January 10th and February 8th, 2017 for extensive descriptions.