New York City “Ban-the-Box” Law

As of October 27, 2015 New York City has joined cities and states across the country by enacting a ban-the-box law.

However, New York City has gone a few steps further by requiring employers to do a work related analysis before rejecting an applicant based upon a criminal record and creating its own version of this document called the Fair Chance Act Notice (see below).

The basic structure of this law is that an employer can only inquire about an applicant’s criminal record after an offer of employment has been made.

Exceptions include employers with 4 or fewer employees (independent contractors count as employees), background inquires required by federal, state or local laws or where laws make certain convictions a bar to employment, police or peace officers and NYC positions identified on the city website that involve law enforcement, providing services to a vulnerable population or positions subject to bribery or other corruption.

Employers may only consider convictions and pending cases.

Before taking adverse action, employers must also provide a consumer copy of the background check report to the applicant, conduct an Article 23a analysis, complete the required NYC Fair Chance Act Notice and provide a copy of this notice to the applicant. After receiving this notice, the applicant must have a minimum of three business days to respond.

Take Away: Employers with employees in New York City should carefully review their employment policies, procedures and forms to ensure that they are in compliance with the requirements of this new law.

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