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Private employers, recent “ban the box” legislation approved by New York City city council could affect you. New York City has joined San Francisco to become the latest large city to remove the criminal conviction question from the job application.

On June 10, 2015, the New York City city council passed legislation that bans private employers from asking job applicants questions about criminal convictions on job applications, as well as in interviews. Information from a recent Sefarth Shaw blog reports that the Fair Chance Act, as it is referred to, prohibits employers from asking questions about criminal history on the application or in an interview.

However, once the employer has extended the conditional job offer, it can ask about an applicant’s criminal history and conduct a background check. The legislation also requires employers who withdraw the offer to explain their decision to the applicant in writing and hold the position open for three business days in order to allow the applicant to respond. New York mayor De Blasio is expected to sign the act, which will go into effect 120 days later.

“Ban the box” legislation continues to be passed, and increasingly, it affects private employers. In addition to New York City and San Francisco, several states (including Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and Rhode Island) as well as Washington D.C. and other localities have enacted laws that extend “ban the box” policies to private employers in the area.

Corporate Screening recommends that employers review their applications, policies and procedures to make sure all items are in compliance with all laws – local and state. And if you have compliance questions or concerns, please contact us.