Equity Starts With a Fair Chance

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About 1 in 3 Americans have a record. Despite numerous research revealing that system-impacted individuals’ performance at work is equal to or better than that of their co-workers, they continue to register an astounding national unemployment rate of over 27%.  In spite of the recent re-orientation towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in many of our organizations, system-impacted individuals continue to suffer from stigma and prejudice. How can we build inclusive, safe spaces where everyone has a level playing field to become productive members of society? 

Establishing A County Fair Chance Ordinance

On Tuesday, February 27, 2024, in a historic moment, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to adopt the County’s Fair Chance Ordinance for Employers (FCO). This Ordinance is in line with the California Fair Chance Act (FCA), or Ban the Box, which was established to ensure that individuals with criminal records have fair and equitable access to opportunities for gainful employment.

Under the California FCA, most employers cannot ask any questions about a criminal record before extending a conditional offer, which includes the application and interview process. It is also illegal for employers to have blanket bans that exclude all applicants with criminal records or applicants with certain convictions. With these existing requirements, the County’s FCO clarifies applicant rights, introduces additional compliance requirements due to gaps found in the FCA, and improves enforcement by introducing penalties for FCO violators. The operative date for administrative enforcement of the Fair Chance Ordinance for Employers will be Tuesday, September 3, 2024. This will be when individuals can file a complaint against a potential employer or business with the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs.

Our department will continue to provide businesses and individuals with information about rights and responsibilities under the new County Ordinance along with other local and state laws. For businesses, we can provide incentives and connections to hire individuals who have been formally incarcerated. If you are an individual struggling to obtain employment, we can provide you with training, supportive services, and access to employers ready to hire. If you are interested in obtaining information about these services, email us at fairchance@opportunity.lacounty.gov.

For System-Impacted Job Seekers

Interested in healthcare, construction/green industries/manufacturing, transportation, technical services, sports/arts/entertainment? Unsure about what you want to pursue? Learn more about the career pathways available to you. Get the chance to connect with potential employers, learn more about Fair Chance hiring laws and legal support, and receive free livescan services at one of our upcoming events. Click on the event link to register.
The LA County America’s Job Centers of California is your one-stop shop for FREE services and resources such as job search and resume writing preparation, workforce development training, stipends, transportation assistance and many other supportive services.

For Businesses

If you are an employer that is looking to widen your talent pool, fortify your recruitment strategy, grow your DEI, and bring in reliable, productive, and loyal employees, then Fair Chance hiring is for you.

In addition, LA County gives you even more reasons to be a Fair Chance employer – businesses hiring from the reentry workforce have access to a range of financial incentives and assistance programs.

Equity starts with a
Fair Chance.

In California, the Fair Chance Act (FCA), Assembly Bill 1008, was enacted in 2018 to level the playing field for applicants who may be qualified but are often overlooked due to their background. Under the California Fair Chance Act, most employers cannot ask ANY questions about a criminal record before giving a conditional job offer – including during the application and interview process. In most cases, it is also illegal for employers to have blanket bans that exclude all applicants with criminal records or applicants with certain convictions.

This year, the LA County Department of Economic Opportunity is proud to launch the Fair Chance Hiring Program, an initiative that brings together fair chance employers and system-impacted job seekers through curated information sessions and job matching. Fair Chance hiring is not only mutually beneficial to businesses and system-impacted job seekers, it is also an opportunity to follow through on your diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. We invite you to partner with us and discover the numerous benefits of Fair Chance hiring. Welcome to your Fair Chance hiring journey.