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LA Votes to Ban the Box

On November 30, the Los Angeles City Council voted 12-1 to approve an ordinance which prohibits LA employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal record until a conditional job offer has been made.

This ordinance adheres to the nationwide “Ban the Box” movement which calls for the removal of check boxes or questions on job forms that ask a person to disclose their criminal history.  The goal of this movement is aimed at giving formerly incarcerated people a better chance at obtaining employment.  So far, more than 100 jurisdictions in 23 states have passed laws that prevent employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history during the first stages of the hiring process.

Because the initial vote was not unanimous the city council will vote again this month, but the law is still expected to pass since subsequent votes only require a majority. If given final approval, LA employers (except in fields such as child care and law enforcement) with 10 or more employees and city contractors will be prohibited from asking about criminal records on their job applications. Any employer who then decides against hiring someone after learning of their criminal history would need to provide justification for why the offer is being rescinded.

The policy is expected to go into effect January 1, 2017.

For an article from ABC go to: http://abc7.com/business/la-city-council-approves-ban-on-criminal-records-disclosure-for-job-applicants/1634700/

USCIS ISSUES NEW FORM I-9 FOR U.S. EMPLOYEES

On November 14, 2016 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Implemented in 1986 by the Immigration Reform and Control Act, employers use Form I-9 to verify a person’s identity and eligibility to work in the U.S. Employers are required to keep an I-9 Form on file for every employee on their payroll.

Changes to the Form that employers should be aware of include:

  • Section 1 now only requires “other last names used” rather than all “other names used.”
  • The certification for certain foreign nationals has been streamlined and now takes less time to complete.
  • Prompts have been included to ensure information is entered correctly.
  • Space has been added in order to enter multiple preparers and translators.
  • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator has also been added.
  • There is now a dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it by writing in the margins.
  • The instructions have been separated from the form and include specific instructions for completing each field.

Additions have also been made to make the form easier to complete electronically:

  • Drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates.
  • On-screen instructions for each field as well as easy access to the full instructions.
  • Checks to ensure information is entered correctly.
  • A button to print the form.
  • An option to clear the form and start over.
  • When the form is completed and printed, a quick response code is automatically generated.

It is important for employers to review the instructions for completing the new Form I-9 before using it for hiring purposes. Employers should also continue to follow the existing storage and retention rules for all of their previously completed Forms I-9.

The deadline for employers to make the switch to the revised form for new hires is January 22, 2017. It is not necessary to issue the revised form to current employees.

For more information about USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov.