Changes to NYC Ban the Box law take effect July 29, 2021

Written by ESR news blog editor Thomas Ahearn

Amendments enacted by the New York City Council to the city’s “Ban the Box” law known as the Equal Opportunity Act (FCA) to expand the protections already provided to job applicants to include employees and prohibit discrimination based on arrest records, pending criminal charges or criminal convictions will take effect July 29, 2021.

In January 2021, the New York City Council amended the FCA to extend job protections to individuals with pending deferments for dismissal (ACD) and pre-sealing violation convictions by adding the two to the category of provisions that cannot be taken into account for employment. – related decisions.

the law also prohibits discrimination in licensing against applicants convicted of violations, even before sealing, and would clarify protections for applicants and employees with pending criminal cases by requiring an employer that he makes a individualized assessment the relationship between the impugned conduct and the work.

The New York City Council revised the FCA – which was adopted in 2015 prohibit discrimination based on criminal record or convictions – identify specific circumstances in which an employer can withdraw a conditional job offer. An employer can only revoke an offer based on one of three factors:

  • The results of a criminal background check after the FCA process has been completed,
  • The results of a medical examination authorized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)Where
  • Other information that the employer could not reasonably have known before making the conditional offer if the employer can demonstrate as an affirmative defense that, based on the information, it would not have made the offer regardless of the criminal background check results.

the Modified CIF requires employers who revoke a conditional job offer to demonstrate that they would not have made the offer regardless of the candidate’s criminal history. The revised law also provides numerous additional protections for ex-offenders, including New York Prison Law, Section 23-A.

Since July 2021, 36 states and over 150 cities and counties have box ban laws, according to the National Labor Law Project (NELP). Other than New York, other major cities that have enacted No Box laws include Austin, Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis.

Ban the Box Laws and Second Chance Programs Helping Ex-Offenders in the United States – about 70 million people – finding work will continue to evolve, according to leading global background check company, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), which has compiled the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2021.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – which was named the #1 screening company in 2020 by HRO Today – offers a white paper on “Ten Essential Steps for Ex-Offenders to Re-enter the Workforce,” a “ESR Ban the Box Resource Guide,” and a Ban the Box resource page. To learn more about ESR, visit

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind. All information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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