Fair Chance Act

The Fair Chance Act makes it illegal for most employers in New York City to ask about the criminal record of job applicants before making a job offer. This means ads, applications, and interview questions cannot include inquiries into an applicant's criminal record. This allows the applicant to be judged on his or her qualifications.

If, after a job offer, an employer wants to revoke the offer based on the existence of criminal record, the employer must explain why using the Fair Chance Notice below, provide a copy of any background check conducted by the employer or third-party vendor, and give the applicant five business days to respond.

Employers must also provide the applicant with a copy of the criminal record information that the employer relied on. An employer that used a consumer reporting agency to conduct the background check must provide a copy of the report; an employer that relied on public records or an Internet search must provide a copy of those documents.

  • Fair Chance Notice: The Commission has prepared this form (updated 11/05/2015) that employers may use to comply with the above-noted requirement. The form may also be adapted to an employer's preferred format, as long as the material substance does not change.
  • Fact Sheets on the Fair Chance Act:

If you have additional questions, call 311 or contact policy@cchr.nyc.gov.

When employers consider qualifications first, more New Yorkers go to work.
That makes businesses strong and powers our economy!
Join the conversation by using #FairChanceNYC

"Kevin's Interview" short film highlights the importance of the Fair Chance Act