In mid-December, the New York City Council introduced a proposal for the city’s own ban-the-box laws, just months after it introduced a bill that would prevent city employers from using credit checks against job candidates. (That bill is still being debated.) Over the previous years, employers in the state have not been able to refuse to hire a potential employee based on his or her criminal record unless an extensive analysis concluded that the criminal offense would directly affect the candidate’s ability to complete the job description, according to New York Correction Law. The new ban-the-box directive expands on that even further. Under the new proposal, New York City employers would have to remove the “criminal history” question on any job applications. Employers would also not be able to conduct background checks of any type until a conditional employment offer had been extended to that candidate. Even then — if this bill is passed — once background checks had been conducted, employers may not revoke a job offer if the candidate was convicted of a felony more than 10 years ago or convicted of a misdemeanor more than five years ago, even if the charge was related to something in the job description for the position the candidate is being offered. This bill is one of the strictest pieces of ban-the-box legislation in the country for employers, and would provide former convicts with the greatest opportunity to re-enter the work force. It will be interesting to see if — or how — the bill transforms during the legislative process, and how the law will be applied.]]>
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