On May 6, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act, which bans employers in New York City from using applicants' and employees' credit histories in hiring and employment decisions. City Council members who supported the bill, labor unions, and activist organizations have long argued that reliance on credit checks discriminates against minorities and low-income New Yorkers with poor credit histories, and prevents such individuals from improving their credit status. The law amends the city's Human Rights Law and broadly defines credit history to include credit scores, credit reports, details about credit accounts, late or missed payments, charged-off debts, bankruptcies, judgments, or liens. The city joins 10 states and Chicago in banning employer credit checks. The law takes effect on September 3, 2015.
The law includes a number of carve-outs that allow consideration of credit history in certain situations. Employers may still use credit histories when required by state or federal law; when hiring for certain positions, namely, police officers, peace officers, or positions with a law enforcement or investigative function at the department of investigation; for positions that involve a high level of public trust and are subject to background investigation by the department of investigation; for positions that require the employee to possess security clearance under federal or state law; for positions in which employees are required to be bonded by city, state, or federal law; for positions with signatory authority over assets valued at $10,000 or more; for positions with regular duties that allow the employee to modify digital security systems established to prevent the unauthorized use of the employer's or client's networks or databases; and for nonclerical positions having regular access to national security information, intelligence information or trade secrets.
The law defines "trade secrets" as information that derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy; and can reasonably be said to be the end product of significant innovation. According to the law, the term "trade secrets" does not include general proprietary company information, such as handbooks and policies, and the term "regular access to trade secrets" does not include access to or the use of client, customer, or mailing lists.
The legal landscape affecting employers in New York City and New York state has seen many recent changes, and many expect more pro-employee legislation in the coming months. Employers should stay up to date on the law and ensure their compliance with the new requirements.
Michael K. Furey authored article, "Is It Worth the Risk to Represent a Client Who Has Fired a Previous Attorney?," for the New Jersey Law Journal.
On February 26, Heather Weine Brochin will be speaking at "Weathering NJ's New Employment and Contracting Laws," a seminar presented by the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA) and held in Robbinsville, NJ.
On January 7, Francine Esposito presented a live webinar, "FMLA Leave Is Exhausted: How to Address Transfer and ADA Accommodation Requests, Fitness-for-Duty Exams, and More," sponsored by BLR.
Mark Romance authored an article, "Five Tips for Representing a Non-Party Served with a Document Subpoena: Welcome to the Party?," published by the American Bar Association Section of Litigation.
On October 24, Heather Weine Brochin and Mike Dell will present a webcast, titled "2019: A Year of Dramatic Changes for Mandatory Employment Arbitration?" in partnership with Celesq and West LegalEdcenter/Thomson Reuters.
The Connecticut Law Tribune interviewed top attorneys, including Day Pitney Partner and Executive Board Member Glenn Dowd, about Big Law continuing to come up with new safety protocols and procedures in how to safely deal with opening its offices.
Day Pitney Press Release
Day Pitney Managing Partner Thomas Goldberg was quoted in Hartford Business Journal article, "Hartford law firms see spike in COVID-19-related business."
Daniel Schwartz was quoted in Hunt Scanlon Media article, "Defending Against the Cancel Culture from the Inside Out."
Day Pitney Press Release