CLL informs local businesses and clients about important issues relating to its mission.
Center for Living and Learning works with both employers, and those affected by policies and laws that hinder re-integration into our society and economy. We provide organizational and advocacy services that give this under-represented population a voice in both the public and private sectors, working to open the way for positive re-entry into the workforce.
The Fair Chance Act makes it illegal for California employers with five or more employees to ask about a criminal record before making a job offer. This means ads, job applications, and interview questions cannot ask about a criminal record. After a conditional job offer is made, you can conduct a criminal conviction history check, but the law requires an individualized assessment before making a decision based on this conviction history.
Employers routinely blanket reject individuals with convictions, histories of substance abuse or homelessness, or other barriers to employment. In many cases, such rejection is illegal and represents a form of economic discrimination. Sometimes this discrimination is intentional, but more often it is due to misinformation or lack of education, on the part of the employer, about the relevant rules and regulations.
The Center for Living and Learning works to educate employers on following the law. Hiring and employment law is a complex system to navigate successfully, but it is incredibly important that employers avoid behaviors that disenfranchise or discriminate against dedicated but vulnerable populations. This is important not only for the individuals who already face so many barriers to employment, but is also important for the employers, who may face stiff penalties for even inadvertent violations of the law.
CLL educates our members on their rights. An individual who is aware of their rights as a job candidate is better prepared to navigate the hiring process. They can also, by example, improve the prospects for individuals who will follow later. Education is one of the many obstacles facing individuals looking to re-enter the workforce. The Center for Living and Learning helps individuals overcome this barrier by informing them of their rights and how to manage the unique circumstances of their job search and subsequent employment.
De-stigmatizing individuals with personal histories that create barriers to employment is one of the Center for Living and Learning’s key advocacy missions. Our members have faced great adversity in their lives, and some have made decisions of which they are not proud. But those who come to us dedicated to rebuild their lives and once again become productive members of society deserve the chance to achieve achieve their goals, and the support to make that possible.