[excerpted from an email from Kimi Kawashima, Contract Compliance Analyst at the Los Angeles Department of Public Works]

The City of Los Angeles recently approved the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance (FCIHO). This law will go into effect in January 2017.

The goal of this law is to remove some of the employment barriers for individuals who have been convicted of crimes and give them a fair chance to job opportunities in order to promote public health, safety and welfare; reduce recidivism; and facilitate the reintegration into society of persons with conviction records; and decreasing unemployment in parts of the community in which persons who have been convicted of crimes predominately reside.

Some of the main requirements of the ordinance are:

1. An Employer may not inquire about an applicant’s criminal history or require a background check until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.

2. If an Employer decides to withdraw their offer of employment, it will be required that the Employer justify this action by performing an Individualized Assessment between individual, the offense, and the criminal history’s effects on the duties and responsibilities of the job position.

3. After the Individualized Assessment is performed, the Employer will be required to hold the job position open for five (5) days to allow for the applicant to have a “Fair Chance” to protest the decision and show proof of rehabilitation or inaccuracies in the background check.

4. The Employer will also be required to post a FCIHO notice in a conspicuous place at every workplace or state information about the FCIHO in all solicitations or advertisements seeking applicants.

The Department of Public Works, Bureau of Contract Administration (BCA) was selected as the Designated Administrative Agency (DAA) and would like to invite its business community partners to submit comments or suggestions on how best to assist businesses implement and effectuate this new program.

Please email all comments or suggestions to kimi.kawashima@lacity.org before Wednesday, December 21, 2016.