LA County Moves to Strengthen Fair Chance Initiatives

LA County Moves to Strengthen Fair Chance Initiatives
March 10, 2023

The Los Angeles County Supervisor and the Department of Economic Opportunity have joined forces to create a Fair Chance Hiring Program. They hope to work with the community and business leaders to encourage the local business community to adopt the new hiring practices. Through the year, they hope to get 200 businesses to hire system-impacted individuals.

This program will take effect when the national unemployment rate for system-impacted individuals exceeds 26%. In addition, this time has seen over 650,000 people entering the community each year after incarceration. The Fair Chance Hiring Program will attempt to grow awareness of the 2018 California Fair Chance Act. This Act is a “Ban-the-Box” law that forbids employers with more than five employees from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history before a conditional offer of employment.

The Department of Economic Opportunity hopes to address the need for a more equitable workforce. It intends to encourage employers and system-impacted jobseekers to meet during curated information sessions to match hiring needs with Fair Chance talent. In addition, the program works with prominent job centers in the state. The program will utilize a hiring model that benefits businesses and the individuals the program is trying to help.

The program could help businesses that are having difficulty obtaining enough workers in a time of labor shortages. For example, the construction industry has experienced significant labor shortages. This program could help this industry and workers who face significant barriers to employment.

Individuals with criminal records experience many barriers to re-entry, with gaining employment becoming a major barrier. However, earning a livable income can allow system-impacted individuals to support themselves and their families. This opportunity lowers the chances of recidivism and makes communities safer.

The Los Angeles County Supervisor and Department of Economic Opportunity plan to hold information sessions until June. This decision will allow more time for system-impacted job seekers and businesses to participate in the Fair Chance Hiring Program. The sessions will give job seekers a chance to interact with potential employers. They also learn more about Fair Chance hiring laws. In addition, they could receive legal support, free livescan services, and other help. The sessions for businesses will supply information on the incentives and services they can receive and discuss the benefits of Fair Chance Hiring.

Employers can help their communities by participating in Fair Chance Hiring. Their participation would benefit the communities and provide them access to a virtually untapped labor pool. As always, it is crucial to perform accurate background checks to ensure fairness and equity in hiring. The best way to do this is to partner with a trusted screening provider with experience in fair chance hiring.

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