On June 29th, 2015, Mayor de Blasio signed eight bills into law, including the Fair Chance Act (Intro 318-A). This act prohibits businesses from asking about one's criminal record on a job application and using it to discriminate against people with records of arrest when hiring new employees. However, certain businesses and city agencies which require background checks, such as the Police Department, Fire Department, and Department of Correction, would be exempt from this new law.
“Today, we ‘ban the box’ in New York City. This bill opens the door to jobs for New Yorkers who have already paid their debt to society, rather than condemning them to a grim economic future. Now, all applicants will get a fair shot at the opportunities that can lead them on a pathway to success,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I want to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito for her leadership, as well as Manhattan Borough President Brewer and Council Member Williams for sponsoring this legislation.”
The second piece of legislation, the Car Wash Accountability Act (Intro. 125-B), requires car wash businesses to obtain a two-year license from the Department of Consumer Affairs, which will ensure that they have complied with local environmental laws and regulations. This will enhance protection for both consumers and workers.
The remaining six laws involve educating small businesses about rules and regulations:
Intro. 456-A would require the Office of Administrative Trial and Hearings to issue monthly reports on dismissals of civil penalty violations, and to help identify and address issues that may be leading to such dismissals.
Intro. 723-A will require the development of protocols for inspector interactions with non-English speakers during agency inspections.
Intro. 724-A will create small business advocates within the Department of Small Business Services that will help business owners obtain appropriate services from the Department and help businesses navigate New York City’s regulatory environment.
Intro. 725-A requires the Mayor’s Office of Operations to do additional outreach to inspected businesses, and to provide and publicize an online customer service survey for business owners to share their experience after being inspected by City agencies.
Intro. 726-A will require the Department of Consumer Affairs to organize, conduct, and report on business education events twice a year in each borough in order to educate local business about DCA rules in a given industry.
Intro. 729-A will require the Department of Consumer Affairs to issue an annual report cataloging and analyzing the violations that it dismissed through its tribunal.