Thursday, June 30, 2016

LA City Hall panel backs fining companies for asking applicants about past crimes

One more reason to replace your human workers with robots. When the automation of the workplace occurs in earnest it will probably happen as quickly as the transition from horse drawn transportation to motor vehicles occurred in this country during the first quarter of the 20th Century. In 1900 nobody was riding cars, but 25 years later everyone was using cars.


LA City Hall panel backs fining companies for asking applicants about past crimes

By Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Daily News Posted: |

Businesses that ask a job applicant about his or her criminal history during the hiring process could be fined and forced to pay the applicant up to $500 under a new law being considered by city leaders.
A Los Angeles City Council committee backed a plan Tuesday to penalize businesses that weed out applicants based on criminal convictions.
The rules are part of a law under consideration by the council aimed at giving former convicts a better shot at obtaining employment.
The Ban the Box ordinance, approved in concept last year by the council, bans private employers with 10 or more workers from asking questions related to an applicant’s criminal history before a conditional offer of employment has been made.
Employers also have to strip criminal history questions from job applications under the proposed law. The “box” refers to “check box” indicating a conviction on an application.
Exemptions for employers in the child care or law enforcement industry are allowed under the ordinance.
Los Angeles non-profits, churches, and other groups support the law, contending it will cut jail recidivism rates by helping former convicts land jobs.
Both the state and federal governments have similar rules in place for applicants seeking public sector jobs, while San Francisco has laws that also apply to private companies.
Some Los Angeles business groups, including the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, oppose the proposed Los Angeles law.
Speaking at Tuesday’s Economic Development meeting, VICA representative Alex Davis told the panel that a “citywide mandate about who to hire and how is a bad policy.”
Some council members at Tuesday’s Economic Development meeting expressed concern about the proposed fines, which could total up to $2,000 for multiple violations.
Councilwoman Nury Martinez also worried a proposed reward system for whistle blowers who complain about hiring practices at a company would encourage an environment of “bounty hunters.” John Reamer, director of the Bureau of Contract Administration, said a reward system isn’t just about encouraging employees to speak up.
“The ultimate goal of the penalty system is to work with the employer to change the behavior, so they will see that (job applicant) in a different light,” Reamer said.
Other regulations approved at Tuesday’s meeting require employers to post rules either in the workplace or an employer website about the Ban the Box law. Failure to do so would result in a $500 penalty.
Employers could also be hit with a $500 fine if they don’t cooperate with city investigators following a complaint.
The law, now being written by city attorneys, is expected to be heard before the full City Council later this year.

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