New York City Enacts “Ban the Box” Ordinance

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New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio recently signed into law the Fair Chance Act, prohibiting employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal background during the employment application process.  As described in last month’s alert, the law is dubbed “ban the box” legislation because employers are not permitted to include a check box on a job application inquiring about the applicant’s criminal history.

Under the new law, employers may only make an inquiry or statement about an applicant’s criminal conviction or arrest record once they make a conditional offer of employment.  If they decide to take an adverse employment action against the individual based on such person’s criminal history, the employer must first take the following steps:

  • Provide a written copy of the inquiry to the applicant;
  • Perform a multi-factor analysis of the applicant in accord with Article 23-A of the New York State Corrections Law, and provide a copy of the analysis to the applicant; and
  • Allow the applicant at least three business days to respond to the analysis.

This ordinance is set to go into effect on October 27, 2015.  For assistance with conducting background checks of applicants or employees in New York City, please contact Connell Foley’s labor and employment law attorneys.