Executive Summary: On April 10, 2018, the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department (“the First Department”), in Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v. Phillips, 2018 NY Slip Op 02442, in a remarkably strongly worded opinion, reversed the determination of an arbitrator who had ruled that although the terminated employee sexually harassed a co-worker, he should only have been subjected to a ten-day suspension.
Articles Discussing Human Resource Issues In New York.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed two executive orders: one requiring state contractors to regularly disclose employee job title and salary data and the other prohibiting state agencies from making pre-job offer inquiries about candidates’ prior or current salary. The executive orders are aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap and strengthening equal pay protection in New York.
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.
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 has adopted an ordinance restricting when employer inquiries about applicants’ criminal histories may be made during the application process and imposing significant obligations on employers who intend to take action based on such information.
Executive Summary: On June 10, 2015, the New York City Council passed the NYC Fair Chance Act (the Act) in a landslide vote. Sponsored by New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), the Act amends the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to prohibit private employers in New York City with four or more employees from inquiring into or otherwise considering an applicant’s criminal background history prior to extending a conditional offer of employment to the applicant. In 2011, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a law that prohibits New York City government employers from asking applicants during the initial application process whether they have been convicted of a crime.
New York City legislation prohibiting employers generally from requesting or using the consumer credit histories of applicants or employees for employment purposes, or otherwise discriminating against applicants or employees with respect to hiring, compensation, or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on their consumer credit history, will become effective on September 3, 2015, 120 days after signing by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
On May 22, 2014, the City of Rochester became the second city in New York to “ban the box,” by adopting legislation restricting the timing of pre-employment inquiries by most Rochester public and private employers into a candidate’s criminal history. Rochester joins Buffalo,1 as well as Baltimore, Newark,2 Philadelphia,3 San Francisco,4 Seattle,5 Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota,6 and Rhode Island7 in banning the box. More than 40 jurisdictions have enacted ban-the-box laws that apply to public employers. The “box” refers to the box on employment applications inquiring whether an applicant has any criminal history.
In 1974, the State of New York amended its law on collective bargaining for public employees (the Taylor Law) by imposing compulsory interest arbitration to resolve bargaining impasses in police officer and firefighter bargaining units. This amendment to the Taylor Law was intended to be temporary, and was originally set to expire on July 1, 1977; however, it was extended by state-elected officials time and time again. The interest arbitration provision was set to expire on July 1, 2013, and unlike prior years, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would not renew binding arbitration unless the process was amended. –
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.
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).