City Accused of Bias Against Blacks, Hispanics in Ex-Con Jobs Ban

Thomas Zambito, New York Daily News, January 27, 2009

A city ban on hiring ex-cons for hospital jobs is unfair to blacks and Hispanics, a city woman claimed in a complaint to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Shanae Leath, who was convicted for her role in a mugging nine years ago, lost her shot at a clerical job at Bellevue Hospital when her record came to light. Leath, 28, said the city Health and Hospitals Corp. ban discriminates.

“Years ago, I made a mistake, but my life is in order now,” Leath said. “It really hurts because Bellevue seemed to recognize that I would be a good worker.”

Leath’s attorney Justin Swartz says the Health and Hospitals Corp.’s “blanket ban” on hiring applicants with criminal convictions disproportionately affects Hispanics and African-Americans.

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