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April 8th, 2013
Hiring: New Law Protects Unemployed Job Applicants
Beginning June 11, 2013, a new New York City law aims to prohibit employers from basing hiring decisions on an applicant's unemployment status. The new law, which amends the New York City Human Rights Law, also bars job advertisements that require applicants to be employed. New York City employers should note the change in the law and take steps to ensure their hiring policies and procedures are in compliance. Here's a summary.
The new law bars New York City employers with at least four employees, and New York City employment agencies and their agents, from:
- Basing an employment decision (i.e., hiring, compensation, or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment) on an applicant''s unemployment status; andPublishing, in print or any other medium, an advertisement for any job vacancy that states or indicates that (i) current employment is a requirement or qualification for the job; or (ii) they will not consider an individual for employment based on his or her unemployment.
The new law includes exceptions and examples of situations that would not be considered violations. For example, employers, employment agencies, and their agents may lawfully:
- Consider an individual''s unemployment where there is a "substantially job-related reason for doing so," and may consider the "circumstances surrounding an applicant''s separation from prior employment."
- Base decisions on, or post advertisements identifying, "substantially job-related qualifications," including "a current and valid professional or occupational license; a certificate, registration, permit or other credential; a minimum level of education or training; or a minimum level of professional, occupational or field experience."
- Limit the applicant pool to, or give priority in hiring, to employees currently working for that employer; and
- Set compensation or terms and conditions of employment based on the person''s actual amount of experience.
The law defines "unemployed" or "unemployment" as "not having a job, being available for work, and seeking employment." An aggrieved individual may file a lawsuit in court or file a complaint with the City Commission on Human Rights.
If you have any questions about bringing hiring practices and procedures into compliance with the new law, or if you have other employment law questions, please contact Wendy Stryker at (212) 705 4838 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Gavin McElroy at (212) 826 5541 or email@example.com; or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Executive Compensation and Employment Group.
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