Arrest or Conviction Discrimination

The New York State Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in employment based upon an individual’s record of conviction or arrest.

Employers are prohibited from even asking about arrests or unrelated criminal convictions that are not currently pending and that were terminated in favor of the individual except as is necessary for licensing or other regulatory compliance. Such inquiries concerning arrests are prohibited both before and after a person is hired.

Furthermore, an individual cannot be denied employment on the basis of a criminal conviction unless there is a direct relationship between the offense for which they were convicted and the job or unless hiring would create an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

The Law requires that employers weigh the following factors to determine if a criminal conviction has a direct relationship to the job or presents an unreasonable risk: the public policy of New York State to encourage employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses

  • the specific duties and responsibilities of the job
  • the bearing, if any, that the criminal offense will have on the individual’s fitness or ability to perform the duties or responsibilities of the job
  • the amount of time that has passed since the criminal offense
  • the individual’s age when the criminal offense occurred
  • the seriousness of the criminal offense
  • information that the individual produces concerning rehabilitation or good conduct
  • the legitimate interest of the employer in protecting property and the safety and welfare of specific individuals or the general public
  • whether the individual has received a certificate of relief from disabilities or a certificate of good conduct from the court, which creates a presumption of rehabilitation in regard to the specified offense

While federal law does not specifically prohibit discrimination based on criminal convictions or arrests, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a policy statement indicating that an employer’s use of criminal history information in making employment decisions may violate the federal prohibition against discrimination based on race or national origin.

Long Island New York Arrest & Conviction Discrimination Lawyer

If you have been the victim of discrimination based on your arrest or conviction record, call or contact us online immediately for a FREE consultation.

The Law Office of Ralph A. Somma

Working to Enforce Workplace Rights.

CLICK TO CALL: (631) 587-1699