In unincorporated LA County
By City News Service
Most businesses in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County would be barred from excluding job applicants with past criminal records during the hiring process under a proposal backed unanimously this week by the Board of Supervisors.
The board voted unanimously to direct its staff to draft a comprehensive Fair Chance ordinance, which would codify and enhance a similar state law that was enacted in 2018. County staff were directed to return to the board with a draft ordinance in 90 days for further consideration.
Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who co-authored the motion with Supervisor Hilda Solis, noted that many employers already adhere to regulations that prevent them from inquiring about applicants’ criminal history or considering it in the hiring process, but “we still have a long way to go making it real for every job seeker.”
Their motion recognized the existence of the state’s 2018 Fair Chance Act, but said there have been shortcomings in its implementation and enforcement. It noted that some other jurisdictions, including the city of Los Angeles, have enacted their own local requirements to provide protections for job-seekers with arrests or convictions on their records.
The board’s vote Tuesday directed county staff to return in 90 days with a draft ordinance with similar protections that would apply to all employers with five or more employees in unincorporated areas, or for employers with five or more employees with county contracts or leases.
Specifically, the county’s proposal would require employers to make it clear in job solicitations and advertisements that qualified applicants with arrest or conviction records will be considered. It would also bar employers from asking applicants to voluntarily disclose information about their criminal history.
Employers would also be barred from considering in hiring decisions an arrest that did not lead to a conviction, participation in a diversion program, convictions that have been dismissed or expunged, motor vehicle offenses, juvenile justice adjudications or convictions more than seven years old.