Dec 21 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on
Wednesday issued a regulation making it easier for businesses
to hire former convicts by prohibiting insurance companies from
refusing coverage for crime-related losses caused by employees.
The regulation, the first of its kind in the United States,
will help New York businesses obtain so-called commercial crime
insurance when hiring employees with criminal records.
Commercial crime coverage, a standard type of business
insurance, generally kicks in when companies sustain losses in
situations that involve employee dishonesty, such as forgery,
theft of a customer's property, or fraudulent transfer of funds
through a company's computer.
Many insurers, however, typically view ex-convicts as too
high a risk. That means New York businesses wanting to hire
someone with a criminal record are often denied the coverage,
said New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent
Maria Vullo in a statement.
That practice has discouraged the state's businesses from
hiring former convicts, Vullo said, despite their skills, and
creates an "unfair barrier" to employment for the 2.3 million
New Yorkers with criminal records.
New York's Department of Financial Services regulates banks
and insurers that do business in the state.
The new regulation, effective July 1, 2017, allows
businesses to obtain the coverage as long as they consider a set
of factors in a New York law that applies to hiring people who
have criminal convictions.
Businesses must consider, for example, whether a prior
criminal offense is related to duties an employee will perform
and the time that has passed since the conviction, among other
factors, according to the rule.
(Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn; Editing by Steve Olofsky)