According to a January 20, 2016 press release by the office of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, settlements have been reached with Big Lots Stores and Marshalls after an investigation found that their employment applications at stores located in Buffalo made inquiries into the criminal history of applicants which is a violation of the city’s “ban the box” law. Employers within Buffalo must wait until after an initial interview before making any inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history.
Big Lots and Marshalls have agreed to pay $100,000 and $95,000 respectively, and in addition to removing the criminal history question from their local applications they have removed them from all applications in New York State. They are also making efforts to recruit applicants with criminal histories through a group that has expertise in training formerly incarcerated individuals. Buffalo, Rochester, and New York City all have individual “ban the box” laws which, at a minimum, require delaying the inquiry into an applicant’s criminal history. To read about these laws as well as others across the US click here.