At the request of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the New York Court of Appeals recently answered several questions regarding liability under the New York Human Rights Law Section 296(15)—which prohibits denying employment on the basis of criminal convictions when doing so violates New York Correction Law Article 23-A—and Section 296(6)—which prohibits aiding and abetting such discrimination.
Illinois recently joined a growing number of states and municipalities that have passed “ban the box” laws regulating when employers can inquire into an applicant’s criminal history.
On July 14, 2014, the Council of the District of Columbia (“D.C. Council”) unanimously voted to “ban the box,” approving a bill that will restrict when an employer may ask a job applicant about his criminal background. The bill will now go to Mayor Vincent Gray for his signature, and then to Congress for approval.
In September, the Newark Municipal Council passed Ordinance 12-1630, which prohibits any employer with five or more employees from asking job candidates before or during the application process about their criminal history (i.e., the ordinance “bans the box” from an employment application).