NYC Commission on Human Rights Files Complaints Against Several Companies for Violating the Fair Chance Act

Here is an excerpt from the NYC Commission on Human Rights’ November 16, 2017 press release regarding its efforts to enforce the recently-enacted Fair Chance Act:

The NYC Commission on Human Rights announced charges today against 12 local and national businesses for violating the Fair Chance Act, including Estée Lauder, Family Dollar, Kroll Associates, Tavern on the Green, Serafina Restaurants, Resorts World Casino, Barilla Restaurants, Best Market, Goldfarb Properties, inVentiv Health, Safeguard Self Storage, and Aaron’s Rent-to-Own, which together employ more than 140,000 people nationwide according to a combination of online sources. The complaints are the result of evidence collected by Commission testers following tips and complaints. The businesses have been notified of the charges and the Commission awaits their response.

Under the Fair Chance Act, which amended the NYC Human Rights Law in October 2015, it is illegal in New York City for public and private employers with four or more employees to inquire or make statements about a job applicant’s criminal history during the hiring process, including on job applications and in employment ads, until a conditional offer of employment has been made. The Law gives individuals with a criminal history an equal opportunity to enter
the workforce and a chance to move forward with their lives and support themselves and their families. There are more than 9.2 million individuals who have a criminal record in New York
State, according to Department of Justice, disproportionately people of color.

The Commission also announced fines against Yelp totaling $30,000 in civil penalties and damages for violating the NYC Human Rights Law by discriminating against a job applicant with criminal history. As part of the settlement, Yelp has committed to not inquiring about
applicants’ criminal histories during interviews or on applications nationwide.

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