Los Angeles Employers Must Comply With New “Ban the Box” Ordinance

Los Angeles CityThe City of Los Angeles Bureau of Contract Administration (BCA) is offering resources for the Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance (FCIHO) also referred to as the “Ban the Box” ordinance. The “Ban the Box” refers to the question on job applications regarding previous criminal records and a box for applicants to respond by checking yes or no, and often with details.

The new law, restricts employers to perform a criminal history check on job applicants until after the employee has been conditionally offered the job.

LA’s Ban the Box Ordinance states that an employer cannot withdraw the job offer unless it can show a written assessment, that the criminal conviction is a direct risk to the requirements of the job. The process requires that the applicant be given five days to reply to the written assessment. If the applicant responds, the employer is then required to reassess by taking into consideration the information submitted by the applicant.

Exceptions to the conviction exemption as stated by Los Angeles Bureau of Contract Administration include:

  • Where the employer is required by law to obtain information regarding a conviction of an applicant.
  • Where the applicant would be required to possess or use a firearm in the course of the employment.
  • If the applicant has been convicted of a crime that is prohibited by law from holding the position sought by the applicant
  • Where the employer is prohibited by law from hiring an Applicant who has been convicted of a crime.