Ban the Box Takes Effect in Rochester NY

Ban the Box Blogs

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A Ban the Box law in Rochester, New York – Chapter 63, Article II of the City of Rochester Municipal Code – took effect November 18, 2014 and “prohibits employers from inquiring about criminal convictions of job applicants on a job application form or during the initial application process and prior to the end of the first interview,” according to a Ban the Box Ordinance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page available at http://www.cityofrochester.gov/article.aspx?id=8589961788.

The Rochester NY Ban the Box FAQs page explains that the new Ban the Box law prohibits potential employers from “making any inquiry regarding a job applicant’s prior criminal conviction on any initial employment application or prior to the end of the initial application process.” This “application process” begins when the applicant inquires about the job and ends when an employer conducts an initial employment interview or makes a conditional offer of employment. Employers that do not conduct an interview must inform applicants “whether a criminal background check will be conducted before employment is to begin.”

Other Ban the Box FAQs included on the City of Rochester website include:

  • What is the intended purpose of Ban the Box?
  • Which employers are subject to Ban the Box?
  • Which employers are exempt from the Ban the Box law?
  • Are there any other exemptions from the Ban the Box law?
  • Does this Ban the Box law prohibit employers from conducting criminal background checks before hiring a person?
  • May an employer ask about criminal convictions at the end of the initial interview?
  • Are there other laws that employers must comply with?
  • How is the Ban the Box law enforced?

The Ban the Box legislation for the City of Rochester was enacted on May 22, 2014 by Ordinance 2014-155. For more information about the Rochester NY Ban the Box Ordinance, contact: Brian F. Curran, Deputy Corporation Counsel, City of Rochester, 30 Church St., Rochester NY 14614, 585-428-6810.

The Ban the Box movement is rapidly spreading across the United States. Approximately 70 U.S. cities and counties have passed legislation, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP). In addition, 13 states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Rhode Island – have Ban the Box laws. For more Ban the Box research from NELP, visit http://www.nelp.org/page/content/banthebox/.

Ban the Box Information from Employment Screening Resources (ESR)

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – offers a Ban the Box Information page for employers available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Ban-the-Box/. ESR also presented a complimentary webinar “Ban the Box – What Employers Need to Know”  hosted by Founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen. To view a recording of this webinar, please visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/430445970585554945.