New York City’s Fair Chance Act: Final Rules and Regulations


Under the FCA, companies with at least 4 staff members are restricted from asking about a job candidate’s criminal history till after a conditional deal of work has been made to the candidate. In addition, companies are forbidden from describing criminal history in job posts, work applications, or any kind of questions throughout the interview procedure itself. Forbidden questions reach performing examinations into a candidate’s criminal history, such as using openly readily available records or performing searches on the Internet, despite whether the examinations are carried out by the company or a 3rd party. There are narrow exceptions, such as for companies who are needed to carry out background screens pursuant to federal, state, or local law or based on the guidelines of a monetary self-regulatory company, such as the SEC or FINRA.

In case a company chooses to rescind the conditional deal of work due to a candidate’s criminal history, the FCA needs that covered the company follows treatments. The aspects laid out in Article 23-A of the New York Correction Law should be considered to reach a decision regarding whether there is a “direct relationship” in between the candidate’s criminal conviction history and the job tasks in concern, or an unreasonable danger to people or property that would prevent the candidate from work. The FCA likewise states a sporting chance procedure, consisting of offering candidates with a copy of their background check report, an analysis of the aspects described in Article 23-A (in a type recommended by the Commission, or one that is comparable) and a chance for the candidate to attend to the criminal history at issue and present alleviating details or product before the deal of work is rescinded.

New Guidance

1. Per Se Violations

The Commission has determined per se offenses, no matter whether the unfavorable action is really taken by the company:

Stating, printing, or flowing of any solicitation, ad, policy, or publication that straight or indirectly reveals (orally or in composing) any restriction or requirements in work relating to criminal history (for instance, “no felonies,” “background check needed”). Significantly, this likewise uses to out-of-state companies with job posts for positions in New York City.

Utilizing applications that need candidates to grant companies running background checks or offering info relating to criminal history prior to a conditional deal of work being released. This consists of using a multi-jurisdiction boilerplate application that asks regarding criminal history, no matter using disclaimers suggesting that the candidate ought to neglect the concerns if looking for a position topic to the FCA.

Making any questions or declaration associating with a candidate’s criminal history before a conditional deal of work hurts.

Disqualifying a candidate because they chose not to react to a restricted question relating to criminal history.

Using openly offered records or carrying out searches on the Internet to find out about a candidate’s criminal history. Such searches are restricted no matter whether the examinations are performed by the company or a 3rd party.

Cannot adhere to the sporting chance procedure pursuant to the FCA, consisting of offering the prospect with a criminal history report and a copy of the Article 23-A type analysis, or holding the position open for at least 3 business days from the prospect’s invoice of the pre-adverse action notice letter.

Altering the requirements of the position after learning of the candidate’s criminal history and for that reason disqualifying the candidate based on the revised requirements.

Per se infractions might lead to companies sustaining fines based upon the company’s size and history of previous infractions; they vary from $500 to $3,500 for preliminary infractions to $1,000 to $10,000 for repeat offenses. Willful, wanton, or harmful actions discovered on the part of a company might lead to the Commission’s imposition of a civil charge of as much as $250,000. Furthermore, offenses of the FCA might lead to offsetting damages, compensatory damages, and lawyer’s costs.

2. Non-Convictions and Pending Criminal Charges

The Rules highlight that a company can never ever need a candidate to divulge, nor might it think about, non-convictions (i.e., criminal allegations that are not presently pending, were ended in favor of the candidate, were adjudicated as a juvenile or led to a sealed conviction). Queries or factor to consider of non-convictions would be considered a per se offense.

The sporting chance procedure is NOT suitable to pending criminal charges, nevertheless, companies still cannot inquire or check out info about such charges before a conditional deal of work is made.

3. Unintended or Unsolicited Disclosure

If a company unintentionally discovers of a candidate’s criminal history without solicitation or query, the company will not be responsible under the FCA. This does not enable the company to ask more about the criminal history or count on the details for employing functions without a conditional deal of work being made.

4. Momentary Help Agencies

While short-lived help firms need to abide by the FCA, the Rules acknowledge that conditional deals normally just make the candidate readily available for the project to firm customers. The Rules clarify that momentary help companies might think about just the minimum ability requirements and certifications required to evaluate convictions to identify whether they are occupational. Short-term help firms cannot make decisions about a candidate’s viability based upon a company’s choice to disqualify people with kinds of convictions.

5. Falsification

The Rules specifically offer that,” [i] f a background check exposes that a candidate has actually purposefully cannot respond to a genuine concern about their conviction history, the company, employment service, or representative thereof might withdraw the conditional deal or take a negative work action.” Rescission of the work deal would still have to abide by the sporting chance procedure under the FCA.

5. Rebuttable Presumption

The Rules enforce a rebuttable anticipation that a rescission of a conditional deal of work was inspired by a prospect’s criminal history. To rebut the anticipation, companies can reveal that the rescission was based upon an acceptable health examination or product info it might not have actually fairly understood before extending a conditional deal or proof that the company had no understanding of the prospect’s criminal history prior to cancellation.

6. Enforcement Initiatives

The Commission has carried out an early resolution program to enable companies to confess liability for per se offenses of the FCA. The company would need to accept a charge and participate in an arrangement about compliance, nevertheless, the Commission reserves the discretion to carry out a complete examination and take a problem to hearing if an early resolution would not serve the public interest.

Company Outlook

Companies running in New York City have been lawfully bound to adhere to the FCA since October 27, 2015, nevertheless, they ought to take this chance to evaluate their applications, job posts, policies, practices, and onboarding files to guarantee that they are prepared to adhere to the more robust assistance. Furthermore, companies need to make sure that hiring and onboarding workers and personal business agents understand the FCA compliance requirements.