The City of Los Angeles recently enacted a “Ban-the-Box” law, designed to prevent employers with at least 10 employees from inquiring into or requiring an applicant to disclose their criminal history until a conditional offer of employment has been made. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed into law the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative, which bans certain employers from inquiring into or requiring an applicant to disclose their criminal history until the employer makes a conditional offer of employment to the employee. The ordinance covers employers with at least ten or more employees working within Los Angeles city limits. The law also provides applicants/employees with a private right of action, and imposes penalties of up to $2,000, depending on the nature of the violation.

The new law will impact employers who regularly use criminal background checks in their hiring process. Given the ordinance’s stringent prohibitions on the use of an applicant’s criminal history to bar employment, it is highly recommended that any employer who maintains a blanket no-hiring policy for persons with criminal convictions in Los Angeles have their policies evaluated for compliance.