The Los Angeles Metropolitan Statistical Area is one of the most densely-populated regions in the US, containing Orange County and Los Angeles County, the latter of which is the most populous county in the U.S. Despite consisting of only two counties, the area is home to approximately 13.3 million people. Three core cities lend this MSA its name. The region also contains the cities of Pasadena, Fullerton, Irvine, and Anaheim along with at least 20 other cities with a population of over 100,000.

The Census Bureau defines a wider commercial region based on commuting patterns, known as the Los Angeles- Huntington Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area (CSA). This is more commonly known as the Greater Los Angeles Area. With an estimated population of over 18 million, the area includes three additional counties: Ventura, Riverside, and San Bernardino.

In expansive metro areas such as Los Angeles, a substantial portion of residents commutes to work. They may live in Orange County and commute to work daily in Los Angeles County. Employers in metro areas should be mindful that their employees may not necessarily reside in or even live close to the business where they work. A robust vetting process for employees that encompasses all the most likely sources of important information based on an applicant's address history should include information from surrounding counties. With that in mind, suggests implementing a thorough screening process that checks all relevant areas within a broader metro region.

At the end of 2016, Los Angeles approved a ban the box ordinance that took effect in late January 2017. These new regulations introduced a mandatory delay of initial criminal history inquiries for all employers with 10 or more employees within the city. These rules apply to both private and public businesses; however, exceptions are provided for employers required by law to ask about convictions or to avoid hiring convicts. The law also provides an exception for job roles that require the possession of a firearm.

Under these rules, no questions about criminal history may be asked until after an employer makes a conditional offer of employment. If a background check returns conviction information, employers must evaluate each charge based on three factors:

1. How long ago the offense occurred
2. The type of offense and its details
3. Its relation to the job duties of the role

Contractors based outside of Los Angeles but doing business within the city must adhere to certain guidelines, including waiting to conduct background checks on applicants until an initial determination of suitability. If a contractor chooses to revoke an employment offer based on conviction data, they must do so by closely following the Equal Employment Opportunity commission's 2012 guidelines. Applicants have a right to be alerted of adverse actions, and they are guaranteed five days to appeal for the position with additional information. Penalties exist for violations of these rules for both contractors and businesses in the city.

These regulations apply specifically to the City of Los Angeles, not greater Los Angeles County. The remainder of the region, including Long Beach and Anaheim in  neighboring  Orange County,  is  subject to the statewide ban the box law approved by the legislature in October 2017. 



Though broadly similar to Los Angeles rules, the statewide law applies to employers of five or more people. Other features, such as using the EEOC criteria to judge the relevancy of a conviction and an applicant's right to appeal adverse decisions, function in much the same way. An additional law prohibits employers from making decisions based on arrests that did not yield a conviction.

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