Fresh Direct – Criminal Background Check Discrimination
On May 1, 2020, Plaintiffs Vidal Soler and Corey Stewart filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York against Fresh Direct. The complaint alleges that Fresh Direct has violated New York civil rights laws requiring an individualized assessment of qualifications for employment before an applicant is denied a job because of his or her criminal record. According to the complaint, FreshDirect instead improperly uses “categorical bans on wide swaths of convictions before any individual Article 23-A analysis” while also “excessively weighing certain Article 23-A factors over other factors” and “refusing to solicit relevant information from applicants before performing its analysis as required under the law.”
Such actions also run counter to the clear public policy of New York, which is to encourage the employment of persons with criminal convictions and “reverse the long history of employment discrimination against” them by “eliminating many of the obstacles to employment.”
The matter is currently pending in federal district court.