Suffolk County Legislator Steve Flotteron (R-West Islip) is bringing attention to two proposed resolutions coming before the Suffolk County Legislature that would prohibit employers from asking about a candidate’s prior criminal history during the preliminary employment application process.
Known as “Ban the Box” legislation, the intent of this law is to protect the rights of all residents – including those with prior criminal convictions – by removing the conviction history “check box” from employment applications. Under the law, employers cannot ask about criminal history until after an initial interview.
Before the Legislature are two separate resolutions, one which has bipartisan support and includes certain restrictions which exempt many small businesses of less than 15 employees. The other more harmful resolution has vague language and certain provisions within that would effectively bring business to a screeching halt for those operating in Suffolk County. Specifically, it includes unreasonable timelines by which employers must notify potential hires of decisions and allow them 7 days to respond thus leaving business owners in a state of limbo with positions unfilled.
“It is imperative that we make sure all individuals have an opportunity to succeed in life, but we must do so without jeopardizing the rights of business owners by introducing more burdensome and unrealistic regulations,” said Legislator Flotteron. “Ultimately, my main concern is that the business community is most likely not aware of these resolutions and it is irresponsible for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to make such drastic changes to how businesses operate in this county without their input. I cannot support policies that handcuff our small business owners and make it even harder for them to succeed in New York State.”
The Government Operations, Personnel, Information Tech & Diversity Committee will be meeting on Wednesday, February 5, 10am, at the Legislative Building, 725 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Hauppauge.