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Articles Tagged with criminal conviction discrimination

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has been dominating the news.  What, if anything, can the Russia investigation teach us about employment law? Today’s Long Island employment law blog discusses the one clear answer — tell the truth.

The presidency may be a politically elected position, but it is nonetheless a job and the campaign process is like one giant and prolonged job interview.  Millions of bosses — voters — use information gathered during the campaign to make an informed decision about who to hire — i.e. elect — as president. Once elected, the president’s acts and performance are not without review.  Congress may impeach for “high crimes and misdemeanors” and law enforcement may prosecute where there is evidence of a crime.

In the private sector, employers use the interview process to evaluate candidates for a job.  Employers may ask many questions to a candidate during the application process, and employers expect honest and truthful answers to their questions.  Businesses make decisions about who to hire after carefully reviewing, among other things, the applicant’s answers to the employer’s questions from the interview process.  Although many states are at-will employment states, meaning employees can be hired or fired for any lawful reason, many employers nonetheless will investigate suspicions of employee misconduct before terminating the employee.

The New York State Human Rights Law and New York Corrections Law prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of the employee’s prior criminal conviction status.  In August 2016, New York’s federal appellate court was faced with three questions arising from a criminal conviction discrimination case.  The federal court asked New York’s highest court for help in deciding the issues.  On May 4, 2017, New York’s Court of Appeals issued a decision discussing who can be liable for criminal conviction discrimination in New York.

The facts below are taken from the cases Griffin v. Sirva, Inc. decided by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the New York Court of Appeals.

Griffin v. Sirva

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