The LA County Board of Supervisors is moving forward on several “fair chance” ordinances that would bar county government, businesses that contract with the county and businesses that operate in unincorporated L.A. County, from applying restrictions on employment based solely on prior criminal records. This could include such policies as not asking job seekers about criminal convictions until a conditional offer of employment is made, giving them an opportunity to appeal if an offer is rescinded and fining businesses that repeatedly flout the guidelines.
According to the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy and research organization that tracks these policies nationwide, 28 states and more than 150 counties and cities now have “ban the box” policies, which eliminate the check box on job applications that asks about prior criminal convictions.
In nine states and 13 cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, these policies extend to private employers.
A California state law that went into effect in 2014 prohibits public employers from asking about criminal history on the initial application.
The state legislature is considering a bill that would make it unlawful for any employer, including private businesses, to ask about an applicant’s criminal history until a conditional offer of employment is made.