A00259 Summary:

BILL NO    A00259 

SAME AS    No Same as 

SPONSOR    Rozic

COSPNSR    Rivera

MLTSPNSR   Arroyo, Brennan, Gottfried, Perry

Amd S296, Exec L

Expands protections to housing, higher education, and volunteer activity.
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A00259 Actions:

BILL NO    A00259 

01/07/2015 referred to correction
01/06/2016 referred to correction
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A00259 Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A00259 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A259
 
SPONSOR: Rozic (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to expanding the protections to housing, higher education, and volunteer activity   PURPOSE: To amend the Executive Law § 296(16) to expand its protections to housing, higher education and volunteer activity.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section I of the bill: * Expands Executive Law § 296(16) to provide that in the domains of housing, higher education, and volunteer work, decision-makers cannot ask about or consider sealed arrests and convictions. * Changes the structure of Executive Law § 296(16) from one long para- graph that is difficult to read to three paragraphs that track the provision's three main points, a non-substantive yet important change designed to enhance the provision's utilization and effectiveness. * Specifies that decision-makers in the domains of employment, housing, higher education, and volunteer work are explicitly prohibited from asking applicants about Juvenile Delinquent dispositions, a protection that is not currently included in the Family Court Act's confidentiality provisions. * Explicitly authorizes applicants to respond negatively to unlawful inquiries, a change that is necessary to address the reality that in all domains - including employment - decision-makers continues to use appli- cations that ask applicants to disclose sealed arrests and convictions. * Expands the current protection against the disclosure and use of sealed arrests and convictions in credit applications to also include mortgage applications. * Prohibits decision-makers from considering sealable (not just sealed) violation convictions, a change that parallels how the provision currently treats sealable dispositions favorable to the accused. Section II sets forth the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Executive Law § 296(16) has long protected employment applicants and employees from discrimination based on sealed arrests or convictions. Such protection recognizes the importance of employment in promoting a person's successful reintegration into society as a law abiding citizen after contacts with the criminal justice system. In this sense, Executive Law § 296(16) is consistent with New York's goal of promoting the "successful and productive reentry and reintegration into society" of people who have been arrested. See Penal Law § 1.05 (6). Like employment, access to stable housing, higher education, and volun- teer opportunities can be critical to a person's successful reinte- gration into the community after an arrest. Yet decision-makers in all of these domains are increasingly using criminal background checks which all too often reveal sealed arrests and convictions. While Executive Law § 296(16) provides that employers cannot rely upon sealed informa- tion in making employment decisions, no similar protection exist in contexts of housing, higher education, and volunteer work. There are also instances in which decision-makers ask questions that intentionally or inadvertently require applicants to reveal sealed arrests or convictions. A good illustration of this is the application for admission to Saint John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, which asks applicants if they have ever "been charged with a crime (felony or misdemeanor) in any state or country, the disposition of which was other than an acquittal or dismissal." This question seemingly requires the disclosure of a non-criminal convictions that have been sealed under the Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) § 160.55, criminal arrests that have resulted in a Youthful Offender adjudication under CPL § 720.35, or a conviction which has been conditionally sealed under CPL § 160.58. Indeed, since housing, higher education, and volunteer work are not currently included in Executive Law § 296(16), some decision-makers in these contexts believe that they can and should ask applicants about all arrests and convictions, regardless of whether they have been sealed. In Short, while Executive Law § 296(16) protects people with sealed arrests and convictions from discrimination in the context of employ- ment, no similar protection exists in the contexts of housing, higher education, and volunteer opportunities, thereby leaving people suscepti- ble to being discriminated against in important aspects of their lives. The proposed amendment to Executive Law § 296(16) is designed to close this gap. In addition, the proposed amendments are designed to make the very important Executive Law protections in this subdivision more "user- friendly" and accessible to those who it governs and protects.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2014: A07740 (Rozic) - Correction 2013: A07740 (Rozic) - Governmental Operations   FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect ninety days after it shall have become law.
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A00259 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                           259
 
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                       (Prefiled)
 
                                     January 7, 2015
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. ROZIC, ROBERTS, RIVERA, SCARBOROUGH -- Multi-
          Sponsored by -- M. of A.  ARROYO, BRENNAN, GOTTFRIED,  PERRY  --  read
          once and referred to the Committee on Correction
 
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  executive  law,  in  relation  to expanding the
          protections to housing, higher education, and volunteer activity
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  Subdivision  16  of  section 296 of the executive law, as
     2  separately amended by section 3 of part N and section 14 of part AAA  of
     3  chapter 56 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
     4    16.  (a)  It  shall  be  an  unlawful  discriminatory practice, unless
     5  specifically required or permitted by statute, for any  person,  agency,
     6  bureau,  corporation  or  association, including the state and any poli-
     7  tical subdivision thereof, or any entity set forth in paragraph  (a)  of
     8  subdivision five of this section, or any institution of higher education
     9  as defined in section 50.1 of title 8 of the compilation of codes, rules
    10  and regulations of New York;
    11    (i)  to  make any inquiry about, whether in any form of application or
    12  otherwise, or to act upon adversely  to  the  individual  involved,  any
    13  arrest  or  criminal  accusation  of  such  individual  not then pending
    14  against that individual which was followed  by  a  termination  of  that
    15  criminal action or proceeding in favor of such individual, as defined in
    16  subdivision  two  of  section  160.50  of the criminal procedure law and
    17  section 375.1 of the family court act, or by a youthful offender adjudi-
    18  cation, as defined in subdivision one of section 720.35 of the  criminal
    19  procedure  law,  or by a juvenile delinquency adjudication as defined in
    20  subdivision one of section 380.1 of  the  family  court  act,  or  by  a
    21  conviction for a violation sealed or sealable pursuant to section 160.55
    22  of the criminal procedure law, or by a conviction which is sealed pursu-
    23  ant to section 160.58 of the criminal procedure law[,];
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01736-01-5

        A. 259                              2
 
     1    (ii)  in  connection  with the following matters:  the licensing[,] or
     2  employment [or] of such individual; the selling, renting, or leasing  of
     3  housing  to  such  individual,  or  his or her tenancy or occupancy; the
     4  admission of such individual to any college, university, or other insti-
     5  tution  of  higher education; the consideration of such individual for a
     6  volunteer position, apprenticeship,  internship  or  externship  whether
     7  paid  or unpaid; and the providing of credit, a mortgage or insurance to
     8  such individual; [provided]
     9    (b) Provided, further, that in connection  with  any  of  the  matters
    10  listed in subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of this subdivision that no
    11  person shall be required to divulge information pertaining to any arrest
    12  or  criminal accusation of such individual not then pending against that
    13  individual which was followed by a termination of that  criminal  action
    14  or proceeding in favor of such individual, as defined in subdivision two
    15  of section 160.50 of the criminal procedure law and section 375.1 of the
    16  family  court act, or by a youthful offender adjudication, as defined in
    17  subdivision one of section 720.35 of the criminal procedure law, or by a
    18  juvenile delinquency adjudication  as  defined  in  subdivision  one  of
    19  section  380.1  of  the  family  court  act,  or  by  a conviction for a
    20  violation sealed or sealable pursuant to section 160.55 of the  criminal
    21  procedure  law,  or  by a conviction which is sealed pursuant to section
    22  160.58 of the criminal procedure law. In the event that an entity listed
    23  in paragraph (a) of this subdivision makes  a  prohibited  inquiry,  the
    24  affected person shall be permitted to respond in the negative.
    25    (c)  The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to the licens-
    26  ing activities of governmental bodies in relation to the  regulation  of
    27  guns, firearms and other deadly weapons or in relation to an application
    28  for  employment  as a police officer or peace officer as those terms are
    29  defined in subdivisions thirty-three and thirty-four of section 1.20  of
    30  the criminal procedure law; provided further that the provisions of this
    31  subdivision  shall not apply to an application for employment or member-
    32  ship in any law enforcement agency with respect to any arrest or  crimi-
    33  nal  accusation  which was followed by a youthful offender adjudication,
    34  as defined in subdivision one of section 720.35 of the  criminal  proce-
    35  dure  law, or by a conviction for a violation sealed pursuant to section
    36  160.55 of the criminal procedure law, or by a conviction which is sealed
    37  pursuant to section 160.58 of the criminal procedure law.
    38    § 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
    39  have become a law.
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