Do you hire employees in New York City? If so, a new law goes into effect tomorrow, June 11, 2013 that prohibits employers from the discrimination of unemployed applicants. Whether you hire in New York City and will be directly impacted by this or not, this trend may impact your local market in the future as hiring trends become more of a hot topic in local and state politics. So who does this new law protect?
The law defines “unemployed” or “unemployment” as “not having a job, being available for work and seeking employment”. The new law was added as a recent amendment to the New York City Administrative Code and is intended to prevent employers and employment agencies from discriminating against applicants who are or have previously been unemployed. According to the law, it is illegal for an employer or employment agency to base employment decisions including hiring, compensation, conditions or privileges of employment on an applicant’s unemployment.
While it does prohibit employers from basing employment decisions on the applicant’s unemployed or previously unemployed status, it does protect several employer based decisions. According to the law, employers may still consider an applicant’s unemployment where there is a “substantially job related reason for doing so” and still reserve the right to inquire about the circumstances surrounding an applicant’s separation from previous employment. The new amendment also prevents employers or employment agencies from implying or stating that current employment is a requirement for a position.
The new law goes into effect on Tuesday June 11, 2013 which means immediate action should be taken for those who employ individuals in New York City. A thorough review of your hiring procedures, job advertisements, employee handbooks, and policies should be completed to ensure compliance with the new regulation. Make sure that all staff members or staffing partners who are involved in the recruiting, hiring, or marketing of positions for your organization are informed of the new regulations and are in compliance. Future regulations may arise in the near future for other locations as unemployment rates continue to gain national attention following the recession recovery.
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