New York City and the state of Maine aren’t usually packaged together relating political issues, but they are both tightening up employer options regarding criminal background checks. New York City of course, already restricted an employer’s ability to inquire into an applicant’s criminal history, but back in January, passed additional amendments that just took effect last week, on July 29, 2021. The amendments clarify the definition of a “conditional offer of employment” and require an employer to utilize a two-step background check process, which would include all non-criminal information first, after which the employer could then ask about any self-disclosed criminal history. The New York City Commission on Human Rights has issued an updated guidance on the new amendments. Conversely, Maine is a relative newcomer to criminal history bans with Governor Janet Mills signing An Act Relating to Fair Chance in Employment into law in early July. The brief 2-page law, which doesn’t become effective until October 18, 2021, prohibits an employer from asking about any criminal history on the initial employment application. Further, an applicant cannot be disqualified due to a criminal history before it is determined that the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position. There are also a number of exceptions in Maine’s Fair Chance Act including the fact that an applicant determined to be otherwise qualified may be asked about his or her criminal history during the actual interview.