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City Council 'bans the box' and passes Fair Chance Act

Fair Chance Act bars employers from asking about criminal background during initial job application.
Jumaane WilliamsGetty Images

New York City Council has banned the box, prohibiting employers from initiallyasking job applicants if they've been convicted of a crime.

The Fair Chance Act, introduced last year by CouncilmemberJumaane Williams, requires employersrun a criminal background check only after an applicant is ready to be hired.

Before the vote on Wednesday, Williams said he was proud of the City Council for doing important work to "chip away at the systemic and structural issues preventing people from moving forward."

The councilmember previously said discriminating on past convictions is illegal, and would force employers to adhere to the law.

Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, said in a statement “the bill is an example of ideology trumping practicality,” saying the Fair Chance Act “discourages employers and ends up resulting in fewer, not more, job opportunities for the people the City Council wants to help.”

 

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