Q: What do I need to know about the recent additions to New York City’s law about the use of criminal history in employment decisions?

A: While the New York City Fair Chance Act (FCA) has been in effect since October 2015, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (Commission) recently enacted final rules, which clarify many aspects of the law. The final rules went into effect on August 5, 2017.

The key provision of the FCA prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The final rules explain the meaning of a conditional offer, and clarify the steps an employer must take before revoking a conditional offer or taking an adverse employment action.