Suffolk County Proposal Seeks to Ban Discrimination Against Formerly Incarcerated Individuals in the Job Market

By: Miya Jones
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Suffolk County Proposal Seeks to Ban Discrimination Against Formerly Incarcerated Individuals in the Job Market

During Suffolk County’s general legislature meeting, a proposal that will prohibit employers from discriminating against those with a criminal history will be on the table.

The legislation would forbid employers from asking people questions about their criminal record during the job application process. Once a person makes it to the interview, then they can be questioned about a possible criminal history. If there is no interview required for the job, and the position is based strictly on a resume, the employer must inform the applicant whether a criminal background check will be conducted before employment begins.

The proposal has been referred to as the “ban the box” law because it gets rid of the box potential employees have to check to inform employers if they’ve been in trouble with the law. Companies who violate the law may be reported to the Human Rights Commission who may seek civil penalties and damages like a fine.

The proposal has been sponsored by Legislator Susan A. Berland and co-sponsored by Legislators Samuel Gonzalez, Kevin McCaffrey and Jason Richberg.

“I am proud to be a co-sponsor,” said Richberg. “This much needed legislation will give many job applicants a fair shot by allowing them to explain their past crimes, and not have their application thrown out before even receiving an interview, boosting their chances of getting hired and reducing likelihood of reoffending.”

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the meeting will be closed to the public, but media will be allowed in the building. The hearing will be streamed here today starting at 9:30 a.m. if you miss it, you’ll be able to watch the recording.

Miya Jones

Miya Jones

Miya Jones is a Long Island native and the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Shades of Long Island. She's been a journalist since the age of 17 and is a diversity advocate. Follow Miya on Instagram and Twitter: @miyajones1996 and on Facebook as Miya Jones.

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