New York law says that employers may not discriminate against someone due to a conviction on their record – regardless of the offense. And there is a general political encouragement towards hiring those with criminal records.
Does this mean that you don’t have anything to worry about if you are convicted of a crime that lands you on the sex offender registry?
Not so much.
There are many jobs that you may be outright prohibited from holding, such as a bus driver or ice cream truck operator. And while the employment laws may seem to be in your favor at first glance, anyone on the registry could tell you that finding a job – much less having a successful career – is difficult at best when your name is on the list.
Why Being on the Sex Offender Registry Makes It So Hard for NY Jobseekers
The NY Sex Offender Registry makes life harder for those on it in a number of ways. Where employment is concerned, there are some consequences specifically tied to work, while others are mere side effects of being on the registry.
First, let’s look at the penalties specifically tied to jobs. While New York Correction Law 23-A does make it illegal for employers to discriminate against you, there are exceptions. Namely, you can’t get any job or license where:
“(1) There is a direct relationship between one or more of the previous criminal offenses and the specific license or employment sought or held by the individual; or
(2) the issuance or continuation of the license or the granting or continuation of the employment would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public.”
So, for example, someone convicted of molesting a child has zero chance of getting any position that is going to put them in contact with kids. There are other straightforward situations like that, as well as gray areas where an employer may simply decide that you might be dangerous if hired for a particular job.
But any NY criminal attorney who has worked with people on the registry can tell you that the biggest employment issues come from simply being on the registry at all. Because every single time you apply for a job, the employer can easily look you up and discover your information.
Even though they legally aren’t allowed to discriminate against you, your conviction will be a factor. If given the choice between two similar candidates where one is on the sex offender registry and one is not, which person do you think an employer is going to choose?
That is why it is so important to put together the strongest possible defense against any charge that can result in your placement on the sex offender list. With a skilled Brooklyn defense attorney by your side, you are far more likely to be able to get your charges reduced, dismissed, or dropped.