On May 6, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law a bill amending the city’s Human Rights Law to prohibit employers from using an individual’s credit history to make employment decisions. The law will become effective on Sept. 3, 2015, 120 days after signing.

As summarized in an earlier advisory update available here, the law will affect most employers with employees working in New York City. The law exempts from its coverage employers required to conduct such inquiries by state or federal law or statute, or by the rules of a financial self-regulatory organization (such as the SEC or FINRA). The law also exempts from its coverage applicants for or employees in certain sensitive positions, including:

  • Police officers;
  • Positions in which employees are required to maintain security clearance under federal or state law;
  • Positions with signatory authority over or fiduciary duty for at least $10,000 in employer, client or customer funds; and
  • Non-clerical positions with regular access to trade secrets, intelligence information or national security information.

Employers who anticipate hiring employees who do not fall within at least one of these narrowly-tailored exceptions should update their hiring practices and revise their employment application materials in anticipation of the effective date of the law to ensure compliance with this new requirement.