Clothing Retailer Accused of Violating New York State Law

Former employee files class action against The Gap, Inc. (Gap) after the company allegedly fired the individual without properly evaluating the context of a 2017 misdemeanor conviction.

The plaintiff, Genevieve Suarez, was hired in early November, 2021 by Gap at one of the company's upstate New York warehouses. Suarez contends that the company terminated her employment upon discovering she had been convicted of a misdemeanor for welfare fraud in 2017.

Suarez filed suit in White Plains, New York court on January 3, 2022, arguing that Gap did not perform an individualized Article 23-A assessment of the conviction to properly determine the impact it would have on her potential job performance. According to the Plaintiff, Gap never inquired about the "circumstances surrounding her conviction" or about her "rehabilitation and good conduct."

The New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) prohibits employers from denying employment to people convicted of crimes unless the employer first performs a thorough and individualized analysis of the specific Article 23-A factors and determines that:

  • a direct relationship exists between the context of the conviction and the position in question; or
  • the context of the conviction indicates that an individual's employment could pose "an unreasonable risk."

Suarez is seeking to represent a class of individuals claiming termination from jobs located in the state of New York based on a deficient or absent assessment of conviction history.

Posted: January 6, 2022

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