New York City

12 Businesses Face Fines for Violating New York Human Rights Law: City

The commission says the businesses asked applicants about their criminal histories, which is forbidden under city law

The city Commission on Human Rights has announced charges against a dozen business for violating a law that forbids asking job applicants about their criminal history.

The commission said Friday that it has filed complaints against Estée Lauder, Family Dollar, Kroll Associates, Tavern on the Green, Serafina Restaurants, Resorts World Casino, Barilla Restaurants, Best Market, Goldfarb Properties, inVentiv Health, Safeguard Self Storage, and Aaron’s Rent-to-Own.

The 12 businesses employ around 140,000 people nationwide, according to the agency.

Under the Fair Chance Act, it is illegal in New York City for public and private employers with four or more employees to inquire or make statements about a job applicant’s criminal history during the hiring process or before a conditional job offer is made. The law aims to give people with a criminal history an equal opportunity to enter the workforce.

The charges against the businesses are the result of evidence collected by Commission testers following tips and complaints.

The commission said the businesses have been notified of the charges and that it’s awaiting their responses.

In a recently settled case, the online review company Yelp paid $20,000 in emotional distress damages to a man and $10,000 in fines after violating the Fair Chance Act. 

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