California Employment Law Update – December 2016

California

Los Angeles Enacts Ban the Box Ordinance

On December 9, 2016, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed into law the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring (Ban the Box).

Pursuant to the ordinance, covered employers may not:

  • Include on any application for employment any question that seeks disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history.
  • At any time or by any means inquire about or require disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history unless a conditional offer of employment has been made to the applicant.
  • Take adverse action against an applicant to whom a conditional offer of employment has been made based on an applicant’s criminal history unless the employer performs a written assessment that effectively links the specific aspects of the applicant’s criminal history with risks inherent in the duties of the employment position sought by the applicant. In performing the assessment, the employer must, at a minimum, consider the factors identified by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other factors as may be required by rules and guidelines by the designated administrative agency.

The above prohibitions do not apply where:

  • The employer is required by law to obtain information regarding a conviction of an applicant.
  • The applicant would be required to possess or use a firearm in the course of his or her employment.
  • An individual who has been convicted of a crime is prohibited by law from holding the position sought by the applicant, regardless of whether that conviction has been expunged, judicially ordered sealed, statutorily eradicated, or judicially dismissed following probation.
  • An employer is prohibited by law from hiring an applicant who has been convicted of a crime.

The ordinance requires employers to retain documents related to applicants’ employment applications and any written assessment and reassessment performed for three years.

The ordinance requires employers to post a notice about the law in a conspicuous place at every workplace, job site, or other city location under the employer’s control and visited by applicants. In addition, a copy of the notice must be sent to the appropriate labor unions. Employers must also state in all job advertisements and solicitations for employment that they will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories “in a manner consistent with the requirements of this [Ordinance].”

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the ordinance.

The ordinance goes into effect on January 22, 2017.

Read the Ordinance

San Jose Voters Approve Opportunity to Work Ordinance

On November 8, 2016, San Jose voters approved the Opportunity to Work Ordinance (Ballot Measure E). The ordinance requires employers to offer additional work hours to existing qualified part-time employees before hiring new employees, including subcontractors or use of temporary staffing services.

The ordinance also requires employers to post a notice of employee rights and maintain certain records. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the ordinance.

The ordinance goes into effect on March 13, 2017.

Read the Ordinance

Emeryville Passes Fair Scheduling Ordinance

On November 1, 2016, the Emeryville City Council passed the Fair Workweek Labor Standards Ordinance (ID-2016-651). The ordinance applies to:

  • Retail firms with 56 or more employees globally; and
  • Fast food firms with 56 or more employees globally and 20 or more employees within the city limits of Emeryville.

The ordinance requires covered employers to:

  • Provide employees with work schedules two weeks in advance.
  • Provide employees with notice of any change to their work schedule.
  • Allow employees to decline any previously unscheduled work hours for which the employee has not been provided two weeks’ notice.
  • Provide employees with additional compensation for certain schedule changes.
  • Offer extra hours to existing part-time employees before hiring new staff.

The ordinance also contains notice and posting requirements and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise the rights provided by the ordinance.

The ordinance goes into effect on July 1, 2017.

Read the Ordinance