Businesses that ask a job applicant about his or her criminal history during the hiring process could be fined and forced to pay the applicant up to $500 under a new law being considered by city leaders.
A Los Angeles City Council committee backed a plan Tuesday to penalize businesses that weed out applicants based on criminal convictions.
The rules are part of a law under consideration by the council aimed at giving former convicts a better shot at obtaining employment.
The Ban the Box ordinance, approved in concept last year by the council, bans private employers with 10 or more workers from asking questions related to an applicant’s criminal history before a conditional offer of employment has been made.
Employers also have to strip criminal history questions from job applications under the proposed law. The “box” refers to “check box” indicating a conviction on an application.
Exemptions for employers in the child care or law enforcement industry are allowed under the ordinance.
Los Angeles non-profits, churches, and other groups support the law, contending it will cut jail recidivism rates by helping former convicts land jobs.
Both the state and federal governments have similar rules in place for applicants seeking public sector jobs, while San Francisco has laws that also apply to private companies.
Some Los Angeles business groups, including the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, oppose the proposed Los Angeles law.
SOURCE: Dakota Smith
Los Angeles Daily News