New York is known as the nation’s melting pot, and as a whole, residents pride themselves on the city’s diversity. New York is also recognized as one of the leading cities in protecting job applicants against employment discrimination, based on a wide range of factors. One of the less known groups of people who are protected from New York employment discrimination are those with criminal histories.
The New York State Human Rights Law precludes an employer from basing an employment decision on previous arrests, reversed convictions, sealed convictions, juvenile adjudications, and even prior adult criminal convictions. It is important to note, however, that the level of protection varies depending on the group to which a prospective employee belongs.
Previous Arrests, Reversed Convictions, Sealed Convictions, and Juvenile Adjudications
A prospective employee with a record of any of the above is completely protected from having an employer base a hiring decision on these factors. Additionally, employers are not permitted to ask about previous arrests, reversed convictions, sealed convictions, or juvenile adjudications during the interview or even after a conditional job offer has been made. There are some exceptions; for example, a law enforcement agency can inquire about juvenile adjudications prior to making a hiring decision. However, the agency cannot inquire about sealed convictions.