Job Seekers with A Criminal Record Get a Second Chance At Employment with “The Fair Chance Act”

Home / Job Seekers with A Criminal Record Get a Second Chance At Employment with “The Fair Chance Act”

New York City “Bans The Box”

NYC Mayor De Blasio signs into law the “The Fair Chance Act” which prohibits employers from asking potential candidates about their criminal record prior to making the job offer.

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In June 2015, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio signed into law legislation making discrimination prohibited against an individual seeking employment due to his or her criminal record. “The Fair Chance Act” prohibits employers from asking potential candidates about their criminal record prior to making a job offer. This means that employers during the advertisement of the job position, on the job application, or in the interview cannot ask potential candidates about their criminal record.

Once, the initial round of interview is completed, and the employer gives the candidate a conditional job offer, only then can the employer inquire about the candidate’s criminal record. The Fair Chance Act is intended to even the playing field by allowing the applicants to be evaluated on their qualifications first, before their criminal background can be evaluated in the hiring process. If, the employer does inquire about the candidate’s criminal record after offering conditional employment, then the candidate
must disclose all criminal convictions (excluding any arrests not convicted of or seal convictions). Further, at this stage, the employer can require the candidate to authorize a background check (refusal to consent is valid grounds to revoke the job offer).

Afterwards, and before the final employment decision, the employer must: (1) provide a copy of any background check conducted; (2) evaluate the candidate by considering specific factors (must be considered by an employer prior to deciding not to hire a candidate) and give the candidate a copy of the written evaluation; (3) hold the job open for at least three business days after communicating its decision to afford you a chance to respond. The employer in deciding to rescind the conditional job offer must show the specific factors existed that would make the candidate unsuitable for the position, and not just because he or she has a criminal record.