If you are seeking employment in New York City (NYC), you are covered by the Fair Chance Act, which is a Ban the Box law. NYC prohibits employers from asking about your criminal history or conducting a background check until a conditional job offer is made. The Fair Chance Act applies to all NYC employers that have 4 or more employees (this includes both private and public employers), except where exempt by law.
An employer cannot ask you about any prior convictions until the end of the hiring process. Employers can ask only about: unsealed misdemeanors, any pending charges, and any felony convictions. You do not have to share any past arrests that did not lead to a criminal conviction.
When employers are deciding if they should hire you, they are required to follow the guidelines provided by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
See Article 23-A of NYS correction law factors in the States' Rights section.
An employer can only revoke your conditional offer if one of the following is true: your criminal history has a direct relationship to the position you are seeking, or hiring you would cause an unreasonable risk to public safety. Before an employer can revoke your conditional offer, the employer must provide you with a copy of the background check used, an analysis of your application using the criteria laid out in Article 23-A of NYS correction law, and the employer must fill out a copy of the Fair Chance Act Notice. Once you have received the previously mentioned documents, the employer must give you at least three business days to respond to their claims.
To see New York State Correction Law Article 23-A, click here:
New York State Correction Law Article 23-A
To see an example of the Fair Chance Act Notice, click here:
If you decide to file a charge against an employer because you believe they violated NYC Human Rights Law, the New York City Commission on Human Rights will then determine if the employer has violated the law.
To read about employer best practices, click here: Employer Best Practices
To read about Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforcement, click here: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Enforcement Guidance