Westchester County joins New York City in adopting the Fair Chance to Work Act, known as the “ban-the-box” law. Effective March 4, 2019, employers in Westchester County are prohibited from inquiring about an individual’s arrest or criminal record during the preliminary stages of the application process.  If an unlawful arrest or conviction inquiry is made of an individual under this Act, the applicant is not required to respond, and the employer may not disqualify the applicant from prospective employment.  However, unlike New York City’s “ban-the-box” law, Westchester County employers may ask questions regarding an applicant’s criminal history after receiving an employment application.

The Westchester Fair Chance to Work Act does not affect employers required by any federal, state, or county laws to run background checks on potential employees or employers that are barred from employing individuals based on criminal history. Employers of police officers, peace officers, and school teachers who have background check obligations imposed by law would fall into this category.

Employers should review employment applications, job advertisements, job postings, solicitations and publications and remove questions or statements relating to an applicant’s arrest or criminal history.  To ensure compliance with the new Westchester requirements, please contact your local Hinman, Howard & Kattell attorney.

Nir E. Gozal
Special Counsel
707 Westchester Avenue, Suite 407
White Plains, NY 10604
Phone: (914) 694-4102
Email: ngozal@hhk.com