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New York City Expands Scope of its Ban-the-Box Law

On December 10, 2020, the New York City Council passed Bill Int. 1314-A, which expands the scope of New York City’s “ban-the-box” law, the New York City Fair Chance Act (FCA). The Bill would impose significant restrictions on an employer’s ability to take adverse action against a job applicant or current employee based on pending criminal charges or arrests, or convictions arising during employment. The amendments would also prohibit asking for or considering adjournments in contemplation of dismissalor non-criminal violations in employment decisions.

New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio has 30 days, or until January 9, 2021, to sign, veto or take no action on the legislation. If no action is taken within 30 days, the amendments become law.

Next Steps for Employers

The amendments to the FCA significantly expand the categories of information relating to an applicant’s criminal history that either may not be solicited, or, if solicited and received, must be carefully reviewed using the meticulous and onerous requirements of the FCA.

Employers considering any aspect of an applicant’s criminal history should consult with an experienced employment attorney that is familiar with the FCA and the latest amendments to modify their criminal history review policies and processes, prior to the latest amendments taking effect.

HR Works, Inc., headquartered at 200 WillowBrook Office Park in Fairport (Rochester), New York, with an office in East Syracuse, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.