The New York City Council has chosen to amend the Fair Chance Act (FCA) to expand its protections to applicants and employees with current criminal convictions or disabilities and clarify points of confusion in the original act. These amendments will take effect on July 29, 2021.
These amendments prohibit employers from taking adverse action against a current employee or applicant convicted of a criminal offense during their employment before considering the seven fair chance factors the amendment provides. This is a short summary of these factors:
- NYC wishes to avoid stigma toward those with criminal convictions.
- The employer must consider if the job’s duties relate to the disability or crime as well as its seriousness.
- The employer must also consider their legitimate interest in protecting property and people as well as information provided concerning their conduct or rehabilitation.
- Finally, if the employee was 25 or less at the time of the offense alleged, this must be taken into account.
After these factors are considered, the employer must find a direct relationship between the conviction and the employment or that continued employment would an unreasonable risk to safety or property.
The amendment provides further details on performing inquiries, intentional misrepresentations on the part of employees, and crimes employers cannot deny employment for. However, these are the most significant changes.