Rochester NY Bans the Box - June 3rd, 2014

Recently the City of Rochester voted to Ban the box for public and private employers. The legislation prohibits most employers from conducting a criminal background check or otherwise inquiring into an applicant’s criminal record until after an initial interview. The legislation affects all employers in which the primary place of work is located within the city of Rochester and have four or more employees. This includes any work for pay including temporary, seasonal, contracted, contingent work and any work through a temporary, job placement, referral or other employment agency. The law reiterates that employers must comply with Article 23-A of the New York State Corrections Law and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This legislation does not affect employers who are specifically authorized by law to ask about criminal history. Individuals impacted by violations may sue in court for injunctive relief, damages or other appropriate relief, costs and reasonable attorney’s fees can also be awarded to prevailing parties. The Corporation Counsel can also bring an action to restrain or prevent any violation of this article in court and can award penalties of $500.00 for the first violation and a penalty of $1000.00 for a subsequent violation. This legislation takes effect on November 18, 2014.