Effective October 27,2015, New York City will join over 100 cities and 15 states in the trend to “Ban the Box”. The Fair Chance Act prohibits NYC employers from obtaining criminal background information until after a conditional offer is made. Employers obtaining criminal background information and making decisions based on that information must comply with specific notice procedures:
- Provide a copy of the inquiry (further guidance is expected).
- Perform the analysis to determine whether there is a direct relationship between the prior criminal history and the position.
- Provide a copy of the analysis to the applicant in writing.
- Hold the position open for three business days after giving the applicant the analysis so the applicant can respond.
The law contains several exemptions. For example, it does not apply to positions where federal, state or local laws require criminal background checks, or to positions where a criminal conviction precludes employment.