If you are seeking employment in the City of Buffalo, you are covered by Buffalo’s Fair Employment Screening law (Article 5 of Chapter 154 of the Code of the City of Buffalo), which is a Ban the Box law. Under this law, any person/employer who employs more than 15 workers (corporations, city vendors, non-profits, etc.) cannot ask you about your criminal conviction history during the application process or prior to your first interview.
In the City of Buffalo, certain jobs are not protected by this law. This means that, if you decide to apply to any of the following jobs, the employer is allowed to ask about your criminal convictions. These jobs include the Fire Department, the Police Department, private and public-school positions, and positions requiring you to care for vulnerable people, such as children and the elderly.
Additionally, the City of Buffalo has an appeal process that you can use if you feel an employer has wrongfully refused to hire you. If the employer has refused to hire you because of your criminal history, you can either file a civil action or seek injunctive relief claiming you were discriminated against. You have one year to file your case. If you believe your rights have been violated, file a complaint with the Commission on Citizens Rights and Community Relations in Buffalo. If the Director of the Commission on Citizens Rights and Community Relations believes that you have presented “a certified finding of probable cause,” then the Director will “ask the city’s corporation counsel to commence an action seeking a penalty of $500 for the first violation and $1000 for each subsequent violation.”
If you are able to show that an employer has wrongfully denied you employment, you also are entitled to have some or all of for your legal fees paid.