New York Employment Law Update — March 2019
Westchester County Fair Chance to Work Act (Ban the Box)
On December 3, 2018, the Westchester County Board of Legislators adopted the Fair Chance to Work Act (LL-2018-14) prohibiting discrimination based on an individual’s arrest record or criminal conviction. Under the law, and unless specifically required or permitted by any other law, an employer may not:
- Make a preliminary or initial inquiry or statement related to a criminal conviction or arrest record of any person in an employment application; or
- Release any solicitation, advertisement, or publication that expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation or specification in employment based on a person’s arrest record or criminal conviction.
However, an employer may inquire about an applicant’s arrest or conviction record, in compliance with state law at N.Y. Exec. Law § 296(16), after the applicant submits an application.
The act also provides definitions and discusses adverse employment action based on an inquiry related to a criminal conviction or arrest record, an applicant’s right to respond to any inquiry, and additional employer rights.
The law is effective March 4, 2019.