Class action suit against Barclays Center and partners alleges unfair treatment of job applicants with criminal history
The Barclays Center, home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, unlawfully denies employment to job seekers with criminal records without giving them required notice of their rights or a chance to explain their convictions, a proposed class of workers alleges ( Kelly v. Brooklyn Events Ctr., LLC , E.D.N.Y., No. 1:17-cv-04600, class complaint filed 8/4/17 ).The defendants didn't directly refute the lawsuit--they have time to file an official response--but said:
The actions of Brooklyn Events Center LLC, which owns and operates the arena, and two companies that provide food services at the venue also violate laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race and national origin by improperly relying on applicants’ criminal past to deny them employment. This “imports the racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system into the employment application process,” the class lawsuit, which was filed Aug. 4 in federal court, says.
The case is one of the first class actions under New York City’s new Fair Chance Act, class counsel Christopher M. McNerney told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 7. Like most other “ban the box” laws, the Fair Chance Act generally prohibits employers from asking about a job applicant’s criminal record until after a job offer has been made.
“Levy and all of our partners, including Barclays Center, are committed to fairness in all of our employment practices, and we abide by state, federal and local laws throughout the process of hiring of our team members,” Brooklyn Events Center, Professional Sports Catering, and Levy said in an Aug. 7 email from Levy Director of Communications Matt Dicker. “The Kelly matter is pending litigation, and we do not provide comment specific to such matters,” they said.From the lawsuit:
Mr. Kelly sought employment with Defendants. He was qualified for the job and given a conditional offer of employment which Defendants subsequently rescinded based on criminal history information revealed on a background check (also known as a “consumer
report”) obtained by Defendants.
Defendants failed to provide Mr. Kelly with the information they relied upon when denying him employment based on his criminal record, including a copy of his background check and/or a written summary of any conversations Defendants had with Mr. Kelly. Further, Defendants never asked Mr. Kelly for information regarding the circumstances of his criminal history, for evidence of his rehabilitation or good conduct, or even whether his background check
Defendants also failed to provide Mr. Kelly with a “Fair Chance Notice” giving him the required information as to its Article 23-A analysis and then failed to hold his position open for a “reasonable time” of “no less than three business days” to allow him an opportunity to respond to the information used to deny him employment.
...Upon information and belief after Defendants ran the background check on Mr. Kelly, a representative of Defendants told Mr. Kelly to expect a call with the date and time for his orientation.
However, Mr. Kelly did not hear back about the position until he called Barclays on September 16, 2016, and was told that he was being denied employment because of his criminal history.
Mr. Kelly never received a copy of his consumer report or any inquiry conducted on him, a statement of his FCRA rights, a timely copy of Article 23-A of the Correction Law, or a Fair Chance Notice documenting any specific Article 23-A analysis conducted by Defendants.
Because Defendants never provided Mr. Kelly with crucial information regarding his denial of employment, Mr. Kelly was unaware of what information was being reported on him, unable to review the information reported about him for accuracy and completeness, contextualize even true information, review Defendants’ arguments (if any) for why they believed his conviction barred him from employment, and/or explain why he was nonetheless entitled to employment, including any evidence of rehabilitation and good conduct.
Defendants also never asked Mr. Kelly whether the consumer report was accurate.