The state Attorney General’s office has settled an employment discrimination case with a national chain of home wares stores
The case against Bed Bath & Beyond, a company with 62 stores in New York state, began when a human resources representative stated at a job fair that they do NOT hire individuals with felony convictions.
Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau for the New York Attorney General’s office, Kristen Clarke, says the state wants one thing to be clear to employers: you must consider more than a past criminal conviction in your hiring process.
“The law is very clear! You CANNOT automatically disqualify individuals solely because they have a criminal background,” said Clarke.
Bed Bath & Beyond has agreed to change the policy to comply with state law and train their employees. The home wares chain will also pay restitution to job training and placement organizations that specialize in helping people with criminal records, as well as to people that they illegally disqualified.
“[We know that, unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. There are many employers around the state that are not complying with the law,” said Clarke.
Clarke says her office is on the lookout for employers that discriminate against job applicants.