Bill S3386-2013

Makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for prospective employers to make certain inquiries relating to criminal convictions

Establishes it shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any prospective employer to make an inquiry about, or to act upon adversely to the individual involved based upon, any criminal conviction of such individual unless such employer first makes a conditional offer of employment to such individual.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • Feb 1, 2013: REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3386

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law and the executive law, in relation to establishing that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for prospective employers to make certain inquiries relating to criminal convictions

PURPOSE: This bill will curtail unlawful discriminatory practices against persons with criminal records and help to ensure that employers abide by the provisions of Article 23-A of the correction law.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends the correction law to change the definition of "direct relationship" and provide that in order to deny a person employment or a license based on a criminal record, there must be a connection between the specific duties or responsibilities of the job or license and the nature of the criminal conviction and such connection must create an unreasonable risk to property or public safety.

Section 2 of the bill amends the correction law to provide that no employer may ask about a criminal conviction unless such employer first makes a conditional offer of employment. Such offer could then be withdrawn in accordance with Article 23-A of the correction law, where there is a direct relationship between the employment and the conviction, and hiring the person would threaten public safety or property.

Section 3 of the bill amends the human rights law to include the amended language of the correction law.

Section 4 of the bill provides that the act shall take effect On the ninetieth day after it shall have become law.

JUSTIFICATION: Upon return to the community following incarceration, individuals are expected to find and maintain gainful employment. Finding effective ways to manage their reentry into the workforce is critical to promoting public safety and curbing recidivism rates and the high costs of reincarceration. Unfortunately, many employers maintain blanket barriers to employment based solely on criminal conviction records even when the conviction may be completely unrelated to the job sought and no threat to the public or property is present.

Article 23-A of the correction law prohibits discrimination against a person with a criminal record unless the duties or responsibilities of the job or license sought are directly related to the conviction. This bill will help to ensure that employers abide by the standards of Article 23A and do not automatically disqualify applicants based only on a criminal conviction.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: A.5330 {Aubry) Referred to Correction

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Successful re-entry and re-integration of formerly incarcerated individuals will increase state revenues through the inclusion of thousands of able-bodied, "taxpaying citizens" to the state's workforce; additional savings to the state will inure from a reduction in costs associated with recidivism, re-incarceration and social services.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act will take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3386 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 1, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. HASSELL-THOMPSON, MONTGOMERY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction AN ACT to amend the correction law and the executive law, in relation to establishing that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for prospective employers to make certain inquiries relating to criminal convictions THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 750 of the correction law, as amended by chapter 284 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows: (3) "Direct relationship" means that THERE IS AN IMMEDIATE AND SUBSTANTIAL CONNECTION BETWEEN the nature of [criminal conduct] THE CRIME for which the person was convicted [has a direct bearing on his fitness or ability to perform one or more of] AND the duties or respon- sibilities necessarily related to the license, opportunity, or job in question AND SUCH CONNECTION WOULD CREATE AN UNREASONABLE RISK TO PROP- ERTY OR TO THE SAFETY OR WELFARE OF SPECIFIC INDIVIDUALS OR THE GENERAL PUBLIC UPON THE ISSUANCE OR CONTINUATION OF A LICENSE OR THE GRANTING OR CONTINUATION OF EMPLOYMENT OF SUCH PERSON. S 2. Section 752 of the correction law, as amended by chapter 284 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows: S 752. Unfair discrimination against persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses prohibited. 1. No application for any license or employment, and no employment or license held by an individ- ual, to which the provisions of this article are applicable, shall be denied or acted upon adversely by reason of the individual's having been previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses, or by reason of a finding of lack of "good moral character" when such finding is based
upon the fact that the individual has previously been convicted of one or more criminal offenses, unless[: (1)] there is a direct relationship between one or more of the previ- ous criminal offenses and the specific license or employment sought or held by the individual[; or (2) the issuance or continuation of the license or the granting or continuation of the employment would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public]. 2. NO PUBLIC OR PRIVATE EMPLOYER TO WHICH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE ARE APPLICABLE, UNLESS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED OR PERMITTED BY STATUTE, SHALL MAKE ANY INQUIRY ABOUT, WHETHER IN ANY FORM OF APPLICA- TION OR OTHERWISE, OR ACT UPON ADVERSELY TO THE INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED BASED UPON, ANY CRIMINAL CONVICTION OF SUCH INDIVIDUAL UNLESS SUCH EMPLOYER FIRST MAKES A CONDITIONAL OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT TO SUCH INDIVID- UAL. SUCH CONDITIONAL OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT MAY ONLY SUBSEQUENTLY BE WITH- DRAWN ON THE BASIS OF A CRIMINAL CONVICTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS ARTICLE WHERE SUCH CONVICTION BEARS A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP TO THE SPECIF- IC POSITION BEING OFFERED. S 3. Section 296 of the executive law is amended by adding a new subdivision 15-a to read as follows: 15-A. IT SHALL BE AN UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE, UNLESS SPECIF- ICALLY REQUIRED OR PERMITTED BY STATUTE, FOR ANY PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYER, INCLUDING ANY PERSON, AGENCY, BUREAU, CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION, INCLUDING THE STATE AND ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF, TO MAKE ANY INQUIRY ABOUT, WHETHER IN ANY FORM OF APPLICATION OR OTHERWISE, OR TO ACT UPON ADVERSELY TO THE INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED BASED UPON, ANY CRIMINAL CONVICTION OF SUCH INDIVIDUAL UNLESS SUCH EMPLOYER FIRST MAKES A CONDI- TIONAL OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT TO SUCH INDIVIDUAL. SUCH CONDITIONAL OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT MAY ONLY SUBSEQUENTLY BE WITHDRAWN ON THE BASIS OF A CRIMINAL CONVICTION IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE TWENTY-THREE-A OF THE CORRECTION LAW WHERE SUCH CONVICTION BEARS A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP, AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY OF THE CORRECTION LAW, TO THE SPECIFIC POSITION BEING OFFERED. S 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.

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