NYC Fair Chance Act

October 29th, 2015 | Sterling

On June 29th 2015 Mayor di Blasio signed the NYC Fair Chance Act. This “Ban the Box” act makes it a discriminatory practice for employers or employment agencies to inquire into an individual’s arrest or conviction record or perform a criminal background check until an employer has extended a conditional offer of employment. Prior to denying employment, the law places additional responsibilities on the employer that exceed the pre and final adverse action requirement of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The bill also restricts an employer’s ability to issue any solicitation, advertisement or publication that directly or indirectly indicates any limitation or specification in employment based on a person’s arrest or criminal conviction history.

After extending an applicant a conditional offer of employment, the employer or employment agency may inquire about the applicant’s arrest or conviction record, prior to taking any adverse action they must perform the following.

  1. Provide a written copy of the inquiry to the applicant in a manner to be determined by the commission
  2. Perform an analysis of the applicant under article 23-A of the correction law and provide a written copy of the analysis to the applicant with the form provided by the commission, which shall include any supporting documents that formed the basis for an adverse action and the employer’s or employment agency’s reasons for taking adverse action.
  3. After giving the applicant the inquiry and analysis in writing, the employer or employment agency must allow the applicant a reasonable time to respond, which shall be no less than three business days and must hold the position open during this time period.

Applicants are not required to respond to impermissible inquiries and cannot be disqualified for not responding.

The law has exceptions for positions that require criminal background checks by Federal, State or Local law as well as certain other city positions where a conviction prohibits employment.

Although the law is effective as of October 27th, 2015 is should be noted that the Commission has not issued interpretive legal guidance which will be followed by a formal rule making process.

View the interpretive guidance
View PDF

View the Fair Chance Act Notice:
View PDF

The full text of the law can be found here:

Watch our express webinar here:

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