Relates to the definition of "direct relationship" for the purposes of article 23-A of the correction law regarding licensures and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses.
BILL NUMBER:S969 REVISED 01/10/2011
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to the definition of "direct relationship" for the purposes of article 23-A of the correction law regarding the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses
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 revise the definition of "direct relationship" and to establish that a denial of employment or a license based on a criminal record, must be based on the connection between the specific duties or responsibilities of the job or license and the nature of the criminal conviction. Such connection must create an unreasonable risk to property or public safety.
Section 2 of the bill makes conforming changes to the corrections Law.
Section 3 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 23-A and do not automatically disqualify applicants based only on a criminal conviction.
2009-10: S.4368-B/A.8065-A (Aubry)- Referred to Crime Victims, Crime and Correction 2009: Similar Legislation, A.5330, Was Referred to Assembly Corrections
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 be gained 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.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 969 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. HASSELL-THOMPSON, DIAZ -- 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, in relation to the definition of "direct relationship" for the purposes of article 23-A of the correction law regarding the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses 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 A 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 responsibilities necessarily related to the license, opportunity, or job in question AND SUCH CONNECTION WOULD CREATE AN UNREASONABLE RISK TO PROPERTY 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 EMPLOY- MENT 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. 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 basedEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04690-01-1 S. 969 2
upon the fact that the individual has previously been convicted of one or more criminal offenses, unless
[: (1)]there is a direct relationship, AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDI- VISION THREE OF SECTION SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY OF THIS ARTICLE, between one or more of the previous 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]. S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.