Phillips & Associates

My Job Offer was Rescinded After a Criminal Background Check. What Can I Do?

Employment Discrimination Attorneys Helping Workers in New York City

New York City’s Fair Chance Act is one of the strongest ban the box laws in the United States. It is a law that stops employers from asking about your criminal history until they first make a conditional job offer. Employers are only allowed to rescind the offer under certain circumstances. If you are concerned because your job offer was rescinded after a criminal background check, you should know that you may have legal options. New York state law also provides certain protections with regard to prospective employees’ criminal records. You should consult the experienced New York City criminal conviction discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates if your job offer was rescinded after a criminal background check. Your specific criminal record and the circumstances of your job offer being rescinded will determine whether you have a basis to sue.

My Job Offer Was Rescinded After a Criminal Background Check. What Can I Do?

If your New York City job offer was rescinded after a criminal background check, you may have a basis for a claim under the Fair Chance Act. The Fair Chance Act was enacted to try to make it more likely that a job seeker would be judged on his or her merits. Under this law, a prospective New York City employer is not supposed to ask about your criminal history until after it makes a conditional job offer. This means that the employer is not supposed to discuss your criminal record at all until it has had a chance to consider you on the merits of your job application.

Conditional Offer of Employment

A New York City employer’s conditional offer of employment can be revoked only under certain circumstances. If an employer learns information through a criminal background check after a conditional job offer, it can rescind the offer only if there is a direct nexus between your criminal conviction and the job, or if you would present an unreasonable safety risk. The City law requires the employer to explain the rescission in writing.

An employer is not required to hire you if your conviction is directly related to your job or presents an unreasonable risk. Thus, your recourse to legal remedies after your job offer is rescinded depends on the circumstances of your criminal history, as well as the rescission of the offer. You have three business days to respond to a prospective employer before it finalizes its decision.

Article 23-A Factors to Consider

When considering a prior conviction for the purpose of deciding whether to hire you, an employer is supposed to analyze your specific application under the factors set forth in Article 23-A. These factors include the duties and obligations that are necessarily connected to the job, how much time has passed since you were convicted, how old you were at the time of the crime, the severity of the crime, the state’s public policy to encourage the hiring of people convicted of crimes, any information that you can provide about your rehabilitation, and the employer’s legitimate interest in protecting property and safety. How these factors balance out in your specific case will determine whether an employer’s consideration of your prior conviction was appropriate for the purpose of rescinding a job offer. This is why it can be important to ask an attorney whether you have a viable claim.

Per Se Violations

There are certain per se violations of the Fair Chance Act. Per se violations are those that violate the Fair Chance Act regardless of whether there is an actual injury to you as a job applicant.

It is a per se violation, for example, for a prospective employer to withdraw a conditional offer of employment without finishing the Fair Chance Process. It is a per se violation to fail to disclose to you a written copy of any inquiry that it conducted into your criminal history. It is a per se violation for a prospective employer to fail to share with you a written copy of its Article 23-A analysis. It is a per se violation to fail to hold the prospective job open for at least three business days from your receipt of both the inquiry and analysis to permit you to respond.

Consult a Dedicated New York City Attorney

If your job offer is rescinded after a criminal background check in New York City, and you believe that you may have a claim due to a violation of the Fair Chance Act, you should consult Phillips & Associates. Call our attorneys at (212) 248-7431 or contact us through our online form. We handle employment litigation in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as the surrounding areas.

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