LOS ANGELES – Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District and co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to move forward on waiving citizenship requirements for Los Angeles County employment.
“With a County as diverse as Los Angeles, it is essential that our workforce reflect the residents we serve in order to foster positive relationships between local government and our constituency,” shared Chair Solis. “By removing citizenship requirements, the County will gain access to a larger pool of qualified applicants with varied life experiences that can help enhance current services. This decision is rooted in a larger vision to bring diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of everything that we do at the County.”
A report back shared with the Board, following a prior motion, illustrated that with limited exceptions, the Board has the authority to waive citizenship requirements and the voter registration requirements of Government Code Section 24001 for appointed Department Heads, excluding the Chief Probation Officer. The report back also shared that the Board, with limited exceptions, can direct Department Heads to waive any citizenship requirements and the requirements of Government Code Section 24001 hiring within their respective departments, unless State or federal law mandate a citizenship requirement for that position. In addition to waiving the citizenship requirements for new hires, the Board can also, with limited exceptions, direct County Department Heads to waive the citizenship requirement for existing employees in their respective departments because those employees fall under the Department Head’s appointing authority, per County Charter.
“Any manager knows that, if you’re looking to hire a director, you hire the best,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “For years, there’s been a rule that prohibited hiring non-citizens in leadership roles. Imagine if Hollywood did that, there would be no productions starring Trevor Noah, Kiefer Sutherland or Emma Watson, so we’re updating County policy. We want to recruit top talent, regardless of citizenship status.”
The passage of this motion waives the requirements of Government Code Section 24001 for existing Board-appointed Department Heads and future Board-appointed Department Heads. It also directs County Counsel, in consultation with the Department of Human Resources (DHR), and the Chief Executive Office (CEO) to implement the removal of the citizenship requirements for Board-appointed positions, excluding the Chief Probation Officer, by removing the citizenship requirement in all job announcements where that requirement is not mandated by State or federal law. Additionally, it directs County Counsel, in consultation with the CEO and DHR to remove citizenship as a minimum requirement for a County position, when a citizenship requirement is not mandated by law, among other directives.
To view the full motion, click here.