What is NY Chapter 23-A?

Chapter 23-A is a New York statute (cited as New York Correction Law (Article 23-A) §§ 750 – 755) that forbids employment discrimination based on an applicant’s criminal background.

Prohibitions

The law prohibits the denial of any job or license application on the basis of an individual having been previously convicted of a crime unless there is a “direct relationship between one or more of the previous criminal offenses and the specific license or employment sought or held by the individual” or there is an “unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public.” § 752. The law goes on to state that New York’s public policy is “to encourage the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses.” § 753.

Statute

Under the statute, employers must consider 8 factors when making an employment/licensure decision and the applicant or employee has a criminal conviction. These factors include: (1) the state’s public policy “to encourage the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses;” (2) the specific job duties and responsibilities; (3) the bearing, if any, the criminal conviction will have on an individual’s ability to perform the job duties; (4) the time which has passed since the crime occurred; (5) the age of the individual at the time the crime occurred; (6) the seriousness of the crime; (7) any information regarding rehabilitation and good conduct; and (8) the “legitimate interest” of the employer in protecting property, and/or the safety and welfare of individuals or the general public. § 753.


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