As we previously reported in July and June, New York City recently passed the Fair Chance Act (FCA), which becomes effective onTuesday, October 27, 2015, and is applicable to criminal background checks.
Among other requirements, the FCA prohibits employers from inquiring about or making statements concerning criminal history, prior to a conditional offer of employment, including the following:
- asking an applicant* questions about his or her criminal record;
- searching public records on an applicant’s* criminal record;
- having an applicant* complete background check disclosure and authorization forms; or
- conducting a background check on an applicant*.
*Recently, the New York City Commission on Human Rights opined that the FCA applies to current employees (presumably when they are “applying” for a new position at the employer), though the FCA language does not appear to cover current employees. The Commission also has indicated that employers violate the FCA simply by making statements about criminal history or background checks, prior to a conditional offer of employment.
The Commission has promised additional guidance is coming soon, after which there will be a formal rulemaking process. As of October 27, the Commission has not issued comprehensive guidance, leading to employer confusion over several elements of the new law. Read more here
Courtesy of Ogletree Deakins – Ogletree Deakins is a member of the EACCNY