The Eastern Long Island County of Suffolk voted on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, to pass a Ban the Box law. Under the new law, employers are prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s conviction history until after completing an initial interview. Further, employers cannot ask about conviction history on initial employment applications.
After completing an initial interview, Suffolk County employers may inquire into the applicant’s conviction history but must perform an individualized assessment before denying employment.
“Everyone deserves an opportunity to put their best foot forward in a job interview without being automatically disqualified,” County Legislator Kevin J. McCaffrey, a co-sponsor of the bill, said. “This legislation strikes a fair balance of protecting employers and prospective employees.”
Like other Ban the Box laws, the Suffolk County Ban the Box law exempts law enforcement positions, or positions at law enforcement agencies, fire and emergency services, the Sheriff’s office, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Probation.
The law takes effect in about 120 days.