Outten & Golden LLP: Court Keeps Job Search Websites in Discrimination Class Action

PRNewswire—Outten & Golden LLP
April 12, 2016

A New York state court ruled that the parent companies of three major job search websites will stay as defendants in a class action lawsuit alleging that employers use them to illegally post job listings in New York City with blanket bans on applicants with felony convictions, Outten & Golden LLP and co-counsel said today.

Filed in June 2015, the class action brought by 14 New York metropolitan area branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Inc. (NAACP) targets employers that post alleged-ly illegal job listings and their “enablers,” such as defendant Monster Worldwide, Inc., which owns Monster.com, ZipRecruiter, Inc., which owns ZipRecruiter.com, and Indeed, Inc., which owns In-deed.com.
New York state and city laws forbid employers from denying employment to job applicants with crimi-nal records without evaluating eight factors set forth in Article 23-A of the New York State Corrections Law. The lawsuit seeks an injunction forbidding the defendant employers from posting and disseminat-ing the illegal listings on job search websites.

In his ruling, the Hon. Manuel J. Mendez wrote that the NAACP’s legal standing on behalf of African American residents of the City of New York that are banned from employment by the defendant class because they have felony convictions is “relevant and germane to its purpose,” and thus it was a proper plaintiff to bring suit. Judge Mendez also held that at this stage the job search websites were necessary for complete relief because employers’ alleged discriminatory ads were viewed through their websites.

The NAACP is represented by Outten & Golden LLP, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and James I. Meyerson, of New York.

Outten & Golden partner Ossai Miazad said, “The court’s ruling against the “˜enablers’ of the employers’ alleged illegal activities moves us a step closer to obtaining the relief sought and to ensuring an effec-tively enforced injunction. Because of the stand the NAACP is taking, we hope to eliminate these prac-tices by New York City-area employers who use these recruiting sites to blatantly violate the New York City Human Rights Law and the Fair Chance Act.”

The lawsuit is “NAACP New York State Conference Metropolitan Council of Branches v. Philips Elec-tronics North America Corp., et al.,” Index No. 156382/2015 in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County.

To view the complaint and Judge Mendez’s opinion, please click here. Job applicants who wish to report their experiences with blanket felony bans in employment applications can email @email.

Contacts: Ossai Miazad and Christopher M. McNerney, Outten & Golden LLP, 212.245.1000, @email.