And the Ban Keeps Growing: NYC Expands Ban the Box Movement

Written by Robert G. Brody and Susan M. Westphal on July 20, 2015

On June 29, 2015, Mayor DeBlasio signed the Fair Chance Act, commonly known as Ban the Box.  As we have previously written, Ban the Box is an effort to limit employer inquiries into criminal history at the beginning of the hiring process.  While New York City Mayor Blumberg had previously signed such a bill pertaining to City employees, New York City is now mandating such protections for private employees. The law will go into effect on October 27, 2015.

So what does this mean for New York City employers? In the simplest terms, most employers who have 4 or more employees will have to wait until a conditional offer is extended to the applicant before inquiring into criminal background issues.  While a job offer can still be rescinded after a criminal background check, the statute proposes how it must be done, including the employer’s explanation and documentation for why it wishes to rescind the offer along with notice that the applicant has a right to respond.  However, employers which, pursuant to any state, federal or local law, require criminal background checks for employment purposes or which prohibit employment of employees with a criminal history, will not be subject to these requirements.

If you do business in New York City or you are an employment agency placing candidates in New York City, you should consult with legal counsel to ensure you are complying with all of the relevant laws.

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest local, state, and federal employment laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at or 203.965.0560.

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Related Topics: Legislative Updates, News

About the Authors

Robert G. Brody is the founding member of Brody and Associates, LLC. He has been quoted and published in national publications and appears as a guest T.V. commentator on contemporary Labor and Employment issues. Learn More

Susan Westphal has represented employers in employment disputes covering wage and hour claims, discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and employment at will, both in court and before administrative agencies. Learn More »