Fair Chance hiring principles should guide all phases of your company’s hiring process, from creating ‘help wanted’ posts to making your final decision. Anyone involved in that process should be aware of their responsibilities under the law. Make sure:

  • Your human resources manager understands the difference between an arrest and an actual conviction.
  • You don’t consider a conviction as the sole reason to deny an applicant a job. A justice-involved individual should be treated like any other applicant unless their conviction is directly job-related or indicates that they might pose a threat to people or property.
  • You give full consideration to evidence of rehabilitation, including education, volunteer experience, prior employment, references from previous employers, and community leaders, as well as certificates of rehabilitation granted by the state.

Learn more about the right way to consider criminal records in the hiring process.


California employers should conduct individualized assessments to strengthen their compliance with the laws that regulate the use of an individual’s criminal history. Suggested next steps include:

  • Assess coverage under California and Los Angeles ‘Ban the Box’ laws, and California’s law  restricting the use of credit reports.
  • Review job advertisements and postings for unlawful and mandatory language regarding criminal history.
  • Review job application and related forms for unlawful inquiries regarding criminal history.
  • Train employees who conduct job interviews and make or influence hiring and personnel  decisions, regarding inquiries into, and uses of, credit and criminal history, including best practices for documentation and record retention.
  • Review the hiring process to ensure compliance, including the timing of criminal history  background checks, the distribution of mandatory notices, and the application of necessary waiting periods.


We hear it a lot from employers: “What happens if I hire someone with a record and they commit a new crime? Will I be liable?”

In California, liability is based on whether the employer could have foreseen the crime. An employer’s reasonable efforts to check and evaluate a potential employee’s background will suit the legal requirements and reduce the risk of liability on the employer’s part.

If you’re still unsure of potential liability, learn more about the Federal Bonding Program, a successfultool for protecting employers and addressing their concerns.


Get the basics, then get the benefits of Fair Chance Hiring.

We partner with agencies that make it easier for you to find, screen, and hire candidates.

Our comprehensive toolkit will guide you through every step of the process.

Get answers to commonly asked questions about “Ban the Box” laws.


The County of LA practices what it preaches. Learn how city agencies have benefitted from hiring justice-involved individuals.


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