By Dave Katzenmeyer
President, Genesis Background Screening Services
In an effort to give second chances to people that have a criminal history, the New York City Council passed a bill that delays when private sector employers can ask job applicants about their criminal history.
Basically this means that employers must refrain from asking any questions about a job applicant’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. That includes waiting to do any background screening until an offer has been made as well. During the recruitment process, any ads or job postings must not eliminate applicants with a criminal history.
The Fair Chance Act that passed in New York City applies to businesses with at least four employees. The act delays questions about criminal records and the performing of background checks so that the applicant is not automatically screened out based on their history. It is important to note that this legislation does not require any employer to hire any particular applicant, it just delays when the criminal history is disclosed.
This bill is intended to lessen one of the biggest obstacles for people returning to life outside of prison. Getting a job makes it possible for them to become self-supporting and a responsible part of the community. Changing some of the policies and prejudices in the hiring process can make this a less daunting challenge.
For those who have paid their debt to society, seeking gainful employment is a major factor in their rehabilitation and integration back in to the community. Without an economic future, it is much more likely that they will pursue illicit forms of income.
If your business is in New York City or one of the other cities or states that have passed similar bills, it is important to understand and comply with the law. It can be helpful to use a professional background screening company that is experienced with all the regulations and compliance issues. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, you can call Genesis Background Screening Services at 866 944-0041 ext 106, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.genesisbackgroundscreening.com. Genesis can also provide you with the Fair Chance Act Notice Form to comply with the work related analysis that is required before rejecting an applicant.