2022Criminal Records

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A proposed class action lawsuit is claiming a real estate investment trust that owns several hotels in New York City violated the Fair Chance Act (FCA) amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) by firing a bellperson on the basis of his conviction history, according to a news report from ClassAction.org.

ClassAction.org reported that the lawsuit claims the real estate investment trust violated the FCA “by failing to provide the plaintiff at the time of his firing with a copy of Article 23-A, a detailed explanation of the circumstances under which an employer may reject an applicant on the basis of a conviction history.”

In October 2015, New York City amended the NYCHRL with the FCA, which made “it an unlawful discriminatory practice for most employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies to inquire about or
consider the criminal history of job applicants until after extending conditional offers of employment.”

The FCA also prohibits employers from rejecting job applicants, terminating or disciplining employees, or taking other adverse action based on the person’s criminal history unless there is a direct relationship between the alleged crime and the job or employing the person poses an unreasonable risk to people or property.

In addition, the FCA amendment requires employers to make that determination based on specific factors set forth in the law and must provide the applicant or employee with a copy of their written analysis, a copy of the criminal background check, and an opportunity to respond to the adverse action.

“While Defendant informed Plaintiff that he was being terminated because of his conviction history, none of the Defendants provided Plaintiff with a more detailed explanation of why exactly his conviction disqualified him from serving as the bellperson,” explained the complaint filed on March 2, 2022.

“Had Defendants followed the procedures set forth by the Fair Chance Act, [the Plaintiff] would have had an opportunity to present evidence of his good conduct and rehabilitation to offset the negative inferences Defendants drew from his conviction history,” the lawsuit, which was filed in New York City, concluded.

The class action lawsuit looks to represent individuals with criminal records who, during the applicable limitations period, applied for employment at any New York City hotel that is owned by Defendants and were either denied employment or terminated after Defendants conducted a background check.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar, a leading provider of Human Capital Integrity℠ technology-based services – offers legally compliant background check solutions to help employers make informed hiring decisions to ensure safe workplaces. To learn more, contact ESR today.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar – reminds readers that allegations made in class action lawsuits are not proof a business or individual violated any law, rule, or regulation since they are in the pleading stage with no factual adjudications yet.

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