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Los Angeles County Fair Chance Ordinance Projected to Bring Hiring Headaches

Post by Bailey Burlingame
March 20, 2024
Los Angeles County Fair Chance Ordinance Projected to Bring Hiring Headaches

Coming up in September 2024, Los Angeles County is passing an ordinance to protect job applicants and speed up business flow. If you’re a business leader located in Los Angeles County, here’s how this new ordinance may impact your business!

Why it Matters for You

Imagine you run a small bakery in Los Angeles County, known for its delicious bread and welcoming atmosphere. You're looking to hire more staff because the holiday season is coming, and you expect to be busier than ever. However, there's a new rule coming into play that's going to change how you hire people. This rule is called the Los Angeles County Fair Chance Ordinance, and it kicks off on September 3rd, 2024.

What this means for you, as the bakery owner, is that you will now have to follow some crucial new steps during the hiring process. This includes how you write your job ads, when you can do background checks, and what you can consider when deciding whether to hire someone. For example, the new ordinance prevents you from asking an applicant about their criminal history right away.

As the name “Fair Chance Ordinance” indicates, the idea behind this ordinance is to ensure that people who've made mistakes in the past but are trying to improve their lives are offered a fair chance at getting a job.

For your bakery, this means being careful about how you hire new team members and making sure you're following these new rules.


Breaking Down the Los Angeles County Fair Chance Ordinance

The What:

Beginning on September 3, 2024, Los Angeles County’s Fair Chance Ordinance will require businesses in unincorporated areas to comply with additional burdensome regulations when hiring. These new requirements are related to job postings, conditional offer letters, criminal history, and background checks, and they go well beyond any previous federal or state law.

The Why:

Delays keep applicants out of work longer and slow down business flow, so this ordinance is intended to protect applicants (defined as individuals seeking work and current workers seeking promotions) by responding to the county's delays in obtaining criminal background checks.

Consider a scenario in which an applicant with a minor offence, such as a traffic violation, faces disqualification due to prolonged background check processing.

Such delays not only affect the applicant’s chance of securing employment, but they also create bottlenecks for businesses in filling positions efficiently.

The Who:

The Fair Chance Ordinance applies to any business operating with more than five workers in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. This includes any entity that evaluates an applicant’s criminal history on behalf of a company.

How to Comply with the Fair Chance Ordinance

Because the ordinance applies to every business operating in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, here is a general guideline on how companies can comply:

Posting Requirements

The Fair Chance Ordinance starts before the applicant applies for the job. First, the ordinance prohibits any language in job postings that may deter applicants from applying. Next, it requires an affirmation that qualified applicants with arrest or conviction records will be considered for employment by the ordinance and state law. Lastly, businesses must post notices of the ordinance in every workplace on their website.

Conditional Job Offers

According to the new ordinance, companies are prohibited from conducting a background check or asking about an applicant’s criminal history until after extending a conditional job offer. However, if a business decides to conduct a criminal background check post-offer, it must identify all significant job responsibilities that are reasonably believed to be directly impacted by the applicant's criminal history. This ensures transparency and fairness in evaluating any potential impact on the job offer.

Limited Scope

The ordinance limits the scope of the questions about an applicant’s criminal history to the last seven years. Additionally, companies must make a specific statement of “good cause” to review an applicant’s criminal history. Questions about non-criminal infractions are also prohibited, except for driving, which may be appropriate if the job requires driving.




Adverse Action

True to its name, the Fair Chance Ordinance requires a written, individualized assessment of an applicant’s criminal history before companies take adverse action against the individual. Adverse actions include being passed up for a promotion or rescinding a job offer. The assessment must affirmatively answer that the applicant’s criminal history has a “direct adverse and negative bearing” on their ability to perform their job duties to the level that justifies denying employment.

After the assessment, should the business still choose to take adverse action, the business must send the applicant a pre-adverse action notice that includes the individualized assessment and informing the applicant of their right to submit evidence of rehabilitation. The employer must then wait five days to take adverse action or fill the position.

Avoid Hiring Headaches with the Help of TCWGlobal!

Want to avoid as many hiring headaches so you can focus on building your dream team? TCWGlobal is committed to helping our clients stay up-to-date and compliant with all the latest background check regulations – just like this one!

By leveraging our policy knowledge and understanding of a business’ employment needs, TCWGlobal is ready to guide clients through new employment pre-screening regulations.

If you need assistance with your employment pre-screening, compliance, or other related needs, please contact our global support team at (858) 810)-3000 or email us at, and we will get your questions answered!

For more information on the County of Los Angeles’ Fair Chance Ordinance, please visit this resource:

Post by Bailey Burlingame
March 20, 2024