FedEx Faces Lawsuit for Alleged Violations of New York City Fair Chance Act

Criminal Background Check

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On March 12, 2021, a lawsuit was filed against FedEx by a job applicant who claimed the delivery company violated New York City’s Fair Chance Act (FCA) that protects people with criminal records from discrimination “when it checked his criminal history before deciding whether to offer him a job,” Bloomberg News reported.

The job applicant consented to a background check when applying for a job at FedEx and never heard from them after receiving the results. Under the FCA, “companies are prohibited from considering or inquiring about the criminal history of applicants until after they extend conditional job offers,” according to Bloomberg News.

“The Fair Chance Act was enacted to protect individuals with criminal convictions against irrational discrimination in employment and thus facilitate their reentry into society. Defendants’ policy of discriminating against individuals with conviction histories frustrates these public policy objectives,” the lawsuit stated.

“FedEx Ground is committed to complying with all laws that apply to our operations in New York,” the company said in a statement, adding that it is reviewing the allegations and will defend the lawsuit. The case is Franklin v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., 21-cv-02204, United States District Court, Southern District of New York.

In 2020, Macy’s – one of the largest American retailers – reached an agreement in a lawsuit brought under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the FCA of the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) that sought to address criminal background checks conducted by the company in New York City.

In 2021, the New York City Council amended the FCA – which was enacted in 2015 – to expand employment protections by identifying specific circumstances upon which an employer can withdraw a conditional offer of employment. The amendments became law on January 10, 2021, and will take effect on July 29, 2021.

“Ban the Box” laws and Second Chance Programs that help ex-offenders in the United States – an estimated 70 million people – find work will continue to evolve, according to leading global background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), which compiled the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2021.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – which was named the #1 screening firm in 2020 by HRO Today – offers a white paper on “Ten Critical Steps for Ex-Offenders to Get Back into the Workforce,” an “ESR Ban the Box Resource Guide,” and a Ban the Box Resource Page. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) 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.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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