The New York State Human Rights Law
It is the public policy of the State of New York to ensure that New Yorkers with arrest records resolved in their favor or adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, sealed conviction records, or youthful offender adjudications participate in the personal and economic opportunities of this State.
To help facilitate this goal, the State has enacted protections, which are found in the Human Rights Law at § 296.15 and § 296.16
What is Covered by the Law?
If you have an arrest that was resolved in your favor, a sealed record, or a youthful offender adjudication, you cannot be asked about it in any form application or otherwise, or discriminated against on, those grounds in connection with housing, employment, licensing, or the provision of credit or insurance.
The Law offers broad protection by declaring it unlawful to "make any inquiry about, whether in any form of application or otherwise, or to act adversely to any individual" with respect to an arrest that was resolved in his/her favor or adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, a sealed conviction record, or a youthful offender adjudication. The Law explicitly provides that if you are asked an unlawful question, you may answer as if the protected arrest, conviction or adjudication never occurred.
The protections described above do not apply to governmental agencies involved in the licensing of guns, firearms, and other deadly weapons, or in the employment of police officers or peace officers. In those situations, the agency may ask about and consider an arrest resolved in your favor, a sealed conviction record, or a youthful offender adjudication.
DHR & HCR have made resources available on the protections offered by New York State law.