According to a CNS News report, approximately 68 million Americans have a criminal record. It is estimated that 92% of employers run a criminal background check – at least for some positions – when considering new hires. That being said, New York State and city law offers a broad protection against discrimination by an employer based on someone’s criminal background. In fact, it is illegal for an employer (or a potential employer) to discriminate based on this fact alone. Most recently, the New York City Council passed the Fair Chance Act, prohibiting employers from asking about pending arrest or criminal conviction records until after an offer of conditional employment has been made.
If you or someone you know believes they have been discriminated against by a potential employer as a result of your criminal background, contact a knowledgeable and aggressive criminal record discrimination attorney right away.
Fair Chance Act Explained
On June 10, 2015, the New York City Council approved the Fair Chance Act (Act). The Act strictly regulates how NYC employers with at least four employees may conduct criminal background checks. This Act comes right after the city’s recent ban on most forms of employee applicant credit checks, which was signed into law by Mayor de Blasio in May of this year. The Act received unusual media attention, partially due to its support from the author of the popular memoir and Netflix series Orange is the New Black, Piper Kerman.
Specifically, the Act states:
- An employer may not conduct a criminal background check, or inquire about pending arrests or criminal convictions until after a conditional offer of employment has been extended to the applicant.
- Prior to taking an adverse action (in other words, not hiring the applicant) the employer must:
- Provide a written copy of the inquiry, in a form to be determined by the NY Commission on Human Rights (NYCHR);
- Perform an analysis to determine whether there are lawful grounds to deny employment based on the criminal background and provide a written copy of the analysis to the applicant (again, inform determined by the NYCHR); this analysis is set forth in the New York State Correction law; and
Provide the applicant three business days from receipt of the forms to respond and simultaneously hold the position open during this period.
The Act will not apply to criminal background checks required by local, state or federal law enforcement or self-regulatory agencies.
Criminal Record Discrimination Help
If you or someone you know has experienced criminal record discrimination from a potential employer contact Ricotta & Marks, P.C. right away to protect your rights under the law. Our skilled employment discrimination attorneys will fight on your side and are well-versed in federal, state and local laws that govern these cases. Contact the NYC office at (347) 464-8694 today for a free case evaluation. Criminal record discrimination should not impede your chances at starting anew with a clean slate.