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New York Attorney General Collects $120,000 from Aldo for Unlawful Employment Application

New York State Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood recently announced a $120,000 settlement with Aldo, a national shoe retailor.  In New York City, employers are prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history on an initial application for employment.  So-called “Ban the Box” legislation such as this has been popping up all across the country in recent years, prohibiting employers from inquiring into the criminal histories of potential job applicants. 

New York City’s Fair Chance Act – the city’s own “Ban the Box” legislation has been in effect since 2015, however Rules promulgating the Act took effect August 5, 2017.  Aldo’s stores in New York City, however, kept this prohibited question on their employment application in violation of the law.

The Company also failed to provide training to its management team on what to do with information regarding a potential employee’s criminal record.  For instance, some managers expressed an outright ban on any applicant who had been convicted of a felony regardless of whether the conviction had anything to do with their job duties. 

As a result of these unlawful practices, Aldo agreed to a $120,000 settlement with the Attorney General. 

This settlement serves as a reminder for employers in New York City and employers in other states and localities with similar “Ban the Box” legislation.  Employers must be careful to review and revise employment applications, job postings, etc., to ensure no information regarding an individual’s past criminal history is requested at the start of the hiring process.  Failure to do so can be a costly mistake. 

Brody and Associates regularly provides counsel on civil rights issues and employment laws in general.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560