NYC's Fair Chance Act: Latest on Article 23-A

Posted by: Tracy Vrchota December 10, 2015

New York City's Ban the Box legislation the "Fair Chance Act," which went into effect this past October, prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant's arrest or conviction record until after a conditional offer of employment is extended. One of the requirements of this act, the Article 23-A Evaluation Form, must be provided to the applicant by the employer.

The NYC Commission of Human Rights also recently published Legal Enforcement Guidance that elaborates key elements of the legislation, including details relating to:

√ The criminal background check process for employers, including, but not limited to:

  • Background checks and inquiries into criminal history must be done only after a conditional offer;
  • Solicitations, advertisements, and publications for employment cannot mention criminal history;
  • Once an employer extends a conditional offer and learns of an applicant’s criminal record, it must solicit the information necessary to properly consider each Article 23-A factor, including the applicant’s evidence of rehabilitation; and
  • Other requirements as to what should occur before and after the conditional offer.

√   The Fair Chance Process, which requires:

  • Disclosing to the applicant a written copy of any inquiry it conducted into the applicant’s criminal history;
  • Sharing with the applicant a written copy of its Article 23-A analysis on the Article 23-A Evaluation Form; and
  • Allowing the applicant at least three business days, from receipt of the inquiry and analysis, to respond to the employer’s concerns.

√   Violations and enforcement of the Act, stating “the Commission will vigorously enforce the FCA”

√  Other areas where the Act is applicable (e.g. temporary help firms), and areas that call for exemption

√   Best practices for employers, such as the use of exemption logs when necessary.

You can read more about the Fair Chance Act, and other Ban the Box laws, by visiting Accurate Background’s Legislative Updates.

Posted by Tracy Vrchota

Tracy Vrchota is the Director of Compliance at Accurate Background and has 20 years of compliance and background screening program experience. Before she came to Accurate Background, Ms. Vrchota was an end user of background screening in the credit card and financial industry. As Director of Compliance at Accurate Background, Ms. Vrchota reviews and audits all internal processes to ensure compliance with FCRA and all Federal, State and Local laws. She provides legislative and compliance education to clients and Accurate Background employees to assist clients in remaining up-to-date on any legislative changes. Ms. Vrchota works closely with Accurate’s Product Development team to facilitate new product development that adheres to the changing compliance landscape. She is actively involved on the Government Relations and Best Practices Committees within the National Association of Professional Background Screeners to monitor proposed and enacted changes in legislation that impact the background screening industry as well as best practices in the industry. Ms. Vrchota is FCRA Advanced Certified through NAPBS has been trained in Six Sigma methodology.