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Total Articles: 7

NYC’s "Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act" Prohibits Most Employment-Related Credit Checks

New York City’s Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (SCDEA) amended the NYC Human Rights Law by making it an unlawful discriminatory practice for employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies to request or use the consumer credit history of an applicant or employee for the purpose of making any employment decisions, including hiring, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment.

"Ban-the-Box" Guidance Issued in New York City

New York City’s “ban-the-box” law — entitled the Fair Chance Act (FCA) — became effective October 27, 2015 and amended the NYC Human Rights Law by making it an unlawful discriminatory practice for most employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies to inquire about or consider the criminal history of job applicants until after extending conditional offers of employment. The FCA also requires an employer that wishes to withdraw its offer give the applicant a copy of its inquiry into and analysis of the applicant’s conviction history, along with at least three business days to respond.

NYC Commission Issues Guidance on the Citywide Bill Restricting Employers from Using Credit Information in Employment Decisions

As previously reported, on May 6, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the "Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act" (Act), which makes it unlawful for most employers to use an applicant's or employee's credit history for employment purposes, except in certain circumstances.1 The New York City Council intended it to "be the strongest bill of its type in the country prohibiting discriminatory employment credit checks," and joined the growing list of states and cities that have enacted similar laws, such as California, Chicago, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.2

New York City to Ban Employer Pre-Offer Inquiries About Applicant Criminal Records

On June 10, 2015, by a 45-5 margin, the New York City Council passed a “ban the box” law prohibiting employers from asking about a job applicant’s criminal record prior to extending a conditional offer of employment. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the bill on June 29, 2015, and the new law will go into effect on Oct. 27, 2015.

Buffalo Joins “Ban the Box” Club

On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, the Common Council of the City of Buffalo followed the lead of New York City, Newark, and Philadelphia, when it passed its own “ban the box” ordinance by a vote of 7-2. The ordinance, which amends Chapter 154 of the Code of the City of Buffalo, and which passed by enough votes to override any potential veto by Mayor Byron W. Brown, prevents the City of Buffalo, its vendors, and any Buffalo employer with at least 15 employees from asking questions regarding or pertaining to an applicant’s prior criminal convictions on any employment application.

Ring in the New Year With a New FCRA Summary of Rights Form

Employers that utilize a third party to obtain background information on applicants and employees, such as a criminal background check or a credit check, must provide applicants/employees with a new version of the Form Summary of Rights Notice prior to taking any adverse action based on the contents of that report. This notice requirement under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is not new: the contents of the form “Summary of Rights” has changed to reflect the fact that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has assumed rulemaking authority for the FCRA from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). A copy of the new form is set forth in Appendix K of 12 C.F.R. Part 1022 (available here).

Reminder: Two Amendments to the New York Correction Law Take Effect February 1, 2009.

New York employers also are reminded that two amendments to the New York Correction Law regarding background checks of prospective employees went into effect on February 1, 2009.