Criminal Conviction Discrimination in New York
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Having a criminal record can make it difficult to find employment. Many employers assume that once an individual has been convicted of a criminal offense, he/she cannot be trusted to perform job duties. This type of discrimination is suffered by many people who have learned from their past mistakes; however, there are several state and federal protections for those with prior convictions facing criminal record discrimination.
At Nisar Law Group, P.C., we are dedicated to pursuing workplace equality for those who have previously been convicted of a crime. Our New York employment lawyers can evaluate your case and determine all of your available legal options to obtain the best results possible.
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New York & Federal Law Against Criminal Record Discrimination
Criminal conviction discrimination occurs when a worker is denied one or more opportunities because of a past conviction, as well as when a job applicant is not hired because of their criminal record. Fortunately, lawmakers at both the state and federal levels have put protections in place to ensure that this type of discrimination does not prevent a person’s ability to obtain employment.
In New York, employers that employ a specific number of workers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee solely because of the employee’s criminal record. However, if there is a direct relationship between the prior conviction and the job in question, or if the hiring the employee is going to be an unreasonable risk to property and pose a safety issue, then an employer can deny a person’s employment due to their criminal record.
While there are no federal laws explicitly prohibiting criminal record discrimination, this type of discrimination may constitute as illegal discrimination based on race and ethnicity if you belong to a protected class as a member of a racial minority. For example, African American make up only 13 percent of the nation’s population, but the FBI has discovered that the imprisonment rate for black men is nearly seven times higher than Caucasian men and nearly three times higher than Latino men. This means that employers’ decisions to refuse to hire on the basis of criminal record disproportionately impacts African Americans and Latinos.
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided guidance for employers on how to evaluate applicants with criminal records and to lessen the risk of discriminatory actions and behaviors. These include (1) the extent of time that has elapsed since conviction, (2) the type of criminal offense that was committed in relation to the job, and (3) the tasks involved in the job itself (e.g. the nature of the work, the amount of unsupervised time the person has, and the duration of interactions with others).
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If you applied for a job but were not treated fairly due to having a criminal record, do not hesitate to get experienced help from our New York employment litigation lawyers. We can investigate your case, collect evidence, and build an effective strategy to protect your rights and best interests.
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