New York Employment Law Update — March 2019

New York

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.

Read LL-2018-14