Welcome to 2017!  Lawmakers have kept us busy this year with a batch of new laws, and did not slow down during the holiday season.  Please see below for some new updates for clients in San Diego and Los Angeles, as well as those operating throughout the State of California.

San Diego Caterer Ordinance

On December 14, 2016, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors adopted a new ordinance regarding direct catering services to breweries, wineries, and other commercial establishments.   This ordinance will go into effect on January 14, 2017.

While the majority of the provisions relate to the creation of a new caterer’s permit for direct catering services and updates to the private event catering license, the new ordinance also creates an obligation for host facilities to apply for and receive a permit from the Dept. of Environmental Health prior to having a catering company come and provide direct food sales to customers.

Host facilities must pay a fee and submit to an initial inspection and ongoing annual inspection, to confirm they have the required toilet facilities, ware washing sink, mop sink, hand washing facilities, electrical power, and hot/cold potable water.  Failure to follow these procedures prior to having a direct caterer at your facility can result in fines and fees, and you even being shut down during the DFEH inspection.

This ordinance does not apply to mobile food trucks, cottage food operations, satellite food services by a permanent food facility, or food directly ordered by the customer for his or her direct consumption.

Los Angeles “Ban the Box”

On December 9, 2016, the City of Los Angeles adopted the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.  This was signed into law by Mayor Eric Garcietti and will go into effect on January 22, 2017.  With this new law, Los Angeles has become the second California city (after San Francisco) to adopt a “ban the box” ordinance.

The new ordinance will prohibit private employers with 10 or more employees from asking about an employment applicant’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.

  • An “employer” includes any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, labor organization or group that is located or is doing business in the City of Los Angeles, that employs 10 or more employees.
  • An “employee” is any person performing two or more hours of work on average each week within the City of Los Angeles and who is entitled to minimum wage, including any owners, management, or supervisorial employees.

Covered employers will be prohibited from asking on an application any question that seeks disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history.  Additionally, employers may not make any other inquiry into criminal history unless and until a conditional offer of employment is made.  Once a conditional offer of employment has been made, it cannot be withdrawn and the employer may not refuse to hire based on an applicant’s prior criminal history unless the employer prepares a written assessment that links the criminal history with the job duties to be performed.  This written assessment is a complex document, requiring several factors to be reviewed and assessed.  If the written assessment finds that the hiring is inherently risky, the employer must nevertheless engage in a “Fair Chance Process” with the applicant before the decision to not hire is finalized.

In addition, there will be notice and posting requirements for this new ordinance, including the requirement that employers must specify in all job solicitations and advertisements that the employer will consider for employment qualified applicants with a criminal history in a manner consistent with the law, as well as a workplace posting in a conspicuous location that is visited by employment applicants.  This new workplace notice will be made available on the City of Los Angeles website in the next few weeks.

If you are a covered employer in the City of Los Angeles, you will need to update your applications to remove all inquiries on criminal history; create new procedures and train hiring managers on the written assessment and Fair Chance Process; update your job solicitations and advertisements with the new required language; and post the new workplace posting.  We can help with all these items!

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