Since 1976, New York has been a leader in protecting people with criminal histories from needless employment discrimination. The goal of these policies is to promote pubic safety (by reducing recidivism) and basic fairness. Indeed, as Governor Hugh Carey said in signing New York's anti-discrimination law: "Providing a former offender a fair opportunity for a job is a matter of basic human fairness, as well as one of the surest ways to reduce crime."
The federal government has also taken steps to increase employment opportunities for people with conviction histories. Notably, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently released updated enforcement guidance advising employers that blanket policies against hiring people with a criminal record could lead to a Title VII violation.
A growing number of employers are finding that these laws and policies make sense, and that hiring people with conviction histories not only enhances public safety, but it can lead to a variety of tangible and intangible benefits for employers.
The information in this section of CCA's website is intended to help employers to: 1) better comply with New York and federal law and policies; 2) develop best practices that promote stronger communities and a healthier work force; and 3) develop an awareness of the many benefits of thoughtfully considering, interviewing, and hiring people with a criminal record.