28 Apr N.Y. Law Says you Must Consider Hiring the Convicted
The State of New York encourages employers to hire qualified applicants with prior convictions and provides financial incentives to help accomplish it. While that sounds reasonable, employers need to know that there is a LAW that goes much further.
Article 23-A of the NY Correction Law prohibits an employer from unfairly discriminating against a person previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses. The law requires employers to evaluate qualified job seekers and current employees with convictions fairly and on a case by case basis. The law requires an employer to:
1. Use an 8 step analysis to determine whether or not to hire an applicant with a prior conviction.
2. Post a copy of the law in the work place.
3. Provide a copy of the law to applicants when they conduct a background check.
New York State provides a worksheet for employers to use which walks them through an 8 step evaluation to be used in the hiring process. The steps to consider are:
- Time elapsed – The number of years since the conviction.
- Age of the applicant at the time of the offense.
- Evidence of rehab and good conduct.
- Seriousness of the conviction.
- Specific duties and responsibilities of the job.
- Bearing past offense may have on what they will be doing.
- Public policy considerations.
- Legitimate interests.
A NY Non Profit Organization called Jobs First NYC has written and excellent and detailed (35 page) article fully explaining this process. It also outlines how to evaluate candidates that may have a history of convictions and how to protect your business from negligent hiring claims.