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On January 1, 2017, new “ban the box” legislation will take effect in Los Angeles, California. The “Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance” was signed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on December 9, and it prohibits employers from asking job applicants about criminal convictions until after a conditional offer of employment.

The new ordinance affects private employers with 10 or more employees (employees must work at least two hours per week on average) within the geographic boundaries of Los Angeles, as well as all city contractors. The law states that:

  • Employers can only ask about an applicant’s criminal history after a conditional offer of employment has been made;
  • If an employer decides to take adverse action based on the applicant’s criminal history, they must consider the EEOC factors, “create a written assessment that effectively links the specific aspects of the Applicant’s Criminal History with risks inherent in the duties of the Employment position sought,” and provide the applicant with the evaluation.

Penalties for violating the law include fines up to $500 per violation and employers may also be subject to private lawsuits. To read the ordinance in its entirety, click here.