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Volume XII, Number 136

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May 13, 2022

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Are You Ready? Westchester County, NY Bans the Box Effective March 4

Westchester County, New York, which is located on the outskirts of the New York City metropolitan area, has enacted a ban-the-box law that places limits on an employer’s ability to make preemployment inquiries into and statements about a job applicant’s criminal history. The law will take effect on March 4, 2019. Westchester joins New York City in enacting a ban-the-box law.

Westchester’s new ban-the-box law generally covers applicants seeking employment with companies that have at least four employees. It does not apply to independent contractors. Under the new law, employers cannot:

  • make oral or written inquiries or statements related to criminal convictions or arrest records in an employment application;

  • disqualify an applicant from employment for refusing to answer an unlawful inquiry or statement related to his or her criminal history; or

  • specify qualification criteria based on criminal history in a job advertisement.

Additionally, employers must conduct a job-relatedness analysis (as required by Article 23-A of the New York Correction Law) before they make hiring decision based on criminal history. If an employer makes an adverse employment decision based on criminal history, applicants can request a written statement about the reasons for the denial of employment (as required by Article 23-A).

The law provides an exception to the above prohibitions and requirements if:

  • the employer is subject to “any state, federal or County law that requires criminal background checks for employment purposes or bars employment based on criminal history”; or

  • the applicant is applying for a position at a law enforcement agency, or as a police officer or peace officer.

© 2022, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 56
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About this Author

Gustavo Suarez, Gus, Employment Law Attorney, counseling, background checks, EEOC, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm
Of Counsel

Gustavo (“Gus”) Suárez assists employers with a broad range of employment law issues, including counseling on federal and state background check and e-signature law; investigating and defending EEOC charges; advising on immigration compliance issues (including I-9 training and internal audits); and defending Title VII, defamation, and breach of contract lawsuits against employers.

Gus regularly speaks at employment conferences on topics like background check law, I-9 compliance, and the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act.

864-271-1300
Aaron Warshaw, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney
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Aaron Warshaw is an experienced, attorney who represents a diverse array of clients in labor and employment matters.  He is one of the founding attorneys of the New York City office.  Aaron’s first-chair experience includes representing Fortune 500 companies in single-plaintiff and class-action employment cases.  He has actively litigated and appeared in many jurisdictions throughout New York State, including before state courts, federal courts, appellate courts, and administrative agencies.  Aaron also is a trusted advisor for management in navigating federal, New York...

212-492-2509
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