Employment Application Question Concerning Criminal History

Some applicants may have questions about how to answer an employment application question concerning criminal history.  The Justice Center’s Applicant Consent for Fingerprint form includes the following question #7:

I certify to the best of my knowledge that I: (check as appropriate)
____ have been convicted of a crime in New York State or any other jurisdiction.

____ have pending arrest charges.

If checked, provide details:_______________________________________________________________

The Consent Form is kept by the provider and the Justice Center does not review it as part of making its determination.  However, an incorrect answer could impact the provider’s decision to employ someone that the Justice Center has indicated is not precluded from employment with the Provider.   

Hiring personnel are encouraged to share the following guidance with applicants:

When asked: “Have you even been convicted of a crime in NYS or any other jurisdiction?"

You should not check that you have been convicted of a crime if:

a.   Your conviction (felony or misdemeanor) was sealed by a court, or

b. The criminal action or proceeding was terminated in your favor, e.g. was dismissed, you received an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD) and the adjournment period has elapsed, you were acquitted, or

c. The proceeding on the criminal offense resulted in a juvenile delinquency adjudication or youthful offender adjudication, or

d. After completing a treatment program, your plea to a felony or a misdemeanor was withdrawn and you were resentenced to a violation which was sealed by the court or the completion of the program resulted in a dismissal of all charges by the court, or

e.The criminal action or proceeding terminated in a conviction for a non-criminal offense (e.g., a violation such as disorderly conduct). 

Public Policy of New York State Concerning the Employment of Individuals with a Criminal History

It is the public policy of New York State is to encourage the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more offenses.  Applicants for employment reviewed by the Justice Center’s Criminal Background Check unit are considered in accordance with Article 23-A of the Correction Law.

Important Note about Request Sent from Justice Center CBC Unit to Applicants

If the applicant’s criminal history is such that the Justice Center considers denying the application for employment, the Justice Center must reach out to the applicant to request evidence of rehabilitation and good conduct.  Accordingly, the Justice Center will send a letter via certified mail through the US Post Office to the applicant’s address submitted by the Provider.  If an applicant wishes to continue to be considered for this employment, he or she should accept and respond to this registered letter from the Justice Center.  If the Justice Center does not receive any information from the applicant within 20 days of receipt of this letter, it is required to deny employment.

Please note that certified mailing requires a signature for delivery.  If the applicant is not available to sign for the letter, the Post Office will leave a notice advising the intended recipient that he/she must arrange for delivery or pick up of the letter.  If the letter is not claimed in a timely manner, the Post Office will return the letter to the Justice Center.  The Justice Center will not contact the applicant directly regarding the unclaimed mail.  The Justice Center will notify the Provider that the letter is unclaimed.  Please be advised that an applicant cannot be considered for employment if he or she does not receive and respond to the request for evidence of rehabilitation and good conduct.