New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, recently announced settlements with national retailers Big Lots and Marshalls, over “ban the box” violations in Buffalo. According to the AG’s press release, the investigation “found that both Big Lots and Marshalls had distributed applications for employment that made inquiries into the criminal history of prospective applicants at their Buffalo stores.  Both companies have agreed to take steps to ensure that such applications will not be made available to those seeking employment at those stores.  Those steps include new policies, training, and reporting to the Attorney General’s Office. In addition, Big Lots agreed to pay a monetary penalty of $100,000, and Marshalls will pay a penalty of $95,000, while simultaneously making affirmative efforts to recruit applicants with criminal histories through an organization with expertise in training formerly incarcerated individuals.”


Several communities in New York, including New York City, Buffalo and Rochester, have enacted “ban the box” legislation, which require employers to wait until later in the hiring process to inquire about criminal history.


As we have mentioned in our blogs on the subject, the “ban the box” trend continues to gain momentum. These settlements in New York state should again serve to remind employers that they need to be aware of not just federal and local laws and regulations when hiring, but also local requirements. And if you have any questions or concerns, Corporate Screening’s team is available to assist.