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Click here to learn about cleaning up your rap
sheet to help you find a job
Click here to learn about a Certificate
to restore your rights and to help you find a job
Frequently Asked Questions about Employment After a Criminal Conviction
1. Can employers discriminate against me if I have a criminal record?
New York State law prohibits employers and employment licensing
agencies from denying anyone a job or license (or discriminating in other ways) because of
any arrest that did not result in a conviction. New York State law only allows an
employer to deny you a job because of your criminal record if the crime is directly
related to the job or if the employer believes you would be a threat to public safety.
2. Can an employer ask about my criminal record?
New York State law makes it illegal for an employer to ask you about
arrests that did not lead to conviction for a crime. But, employers can ask about
3. If a job application asks if I have ever been convicted of a crime, should I tell the truth?
You should tell the truth. Many employers run criminal
background checks, meaning that they are probably going to find out if you have been
convicted of a crime anyway. If you lie (either by saying "no" or by
leaving the question blank) and the employer finds out, the employer can refuse to hire or
can fire you because you lied.
4. Can I get cases erased from my record?
No. You cannot erase criminal record information in New York
State. You can seal information about any case that was dismissed or that was
otherwise ended in your favor.
5. Is there anything I can do about my criminal convictions?
If you have a misdemeanor or felony conviction, it cannot be sealed,
but you can apply for a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or a Certificate for Good
Conduct. A Certificate restores some of the rights you may have lost as a result of
your conviction. You can find out how to apply for a certificate by scrolling to the
top of the page and clicking on the sentence about the certificate.
Click here for information
about applying for an occupational license in New York City