New York City Bars Pre-Offer Background Checks

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July 1 — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) June 29 signed into law the Fair Chance Act (Intro. No. 318-A), making New York the latest jurisdiction to prohibit employers from conducting pre-offer criminal background checks when hiring.

Under the measure, which the New York City Council approved 44-6 June 10, the city's human rights code is revised to bar discrimination based on arrest record or criminal conviction. Effective 90 days after enactment, employers will not be able to make any inquiry about a job applicant's criminal background before a conditional offer of employment is issued.

After a conditional offer, an employer can commence a criminal background check and make inquiries related to criminal history. The law exempts employers hiring for positions where any federal, state or local law requires criminal background checks or where criminal backgrounds serve as a bar to employment. Certain law enforcement positions will also not be subject to the new requirements.

Text and other information on the bill is available at http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=1739365&GUID=EF70B69C-074A-4B8E-9D36-187C76BB1098&Options=ID|Text|&Search=318.