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  • Writer's picturePaul F. Keneally

Monroe County Joins “Ban the Box” Movement

Joining many municipalities across New York State, including the cities of Albany and Rochester, and the Town of Brighton, Monroe County now prohibits questions about criminal history on employment applications. The county passed the “Ban the Box” law (officially the Monroe County Fair Chance Employment Act) in early August 2023 to attempt to lessen the discrimination faced by jobseekers with prior convictions.

Employers in Monroe County will still be able to do criminal background checks once they have made conditional job offers and then conduct the appropriate analysis under the New York Corrections Law to see if any conviction may be considered in the ultimate employment decision.

A county spokesman noted that it has 800 jobs of its own open that may be easier to fill now and commented that it was motivated by the disproportionate impact that prior conviction discrimination has on Black and Latino applicants. Finally, the county cited the increased tax revenue and decreased recidivism rates the law will bring. The law does not apply to employers who must do mandatory criminal history checks, like the police and childcare entities. Employers who violate Ban the Box policies may face New York State Division of Human Rights discrimination complaints, which do not cost the applicant anything to file.

If you have any questions regarding this or any other Labor & Employment law topic, please call Paul F. Keneally at (585) 258-2882 or email

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