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. READ MORE