Convicted Felon and The Hospitality Industry

Formerly, a convicted felon could not be employed in a New York State Liquor Authority licensed premise with first obtaining a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities.  Obtaining that Certificate was often a difficult, expensive and time intensive task.  The New York State Liquor Authority eased the restriction as follows:

a. Anyone who is convicted of a felony or convicted of:
i. Illegally using, carrying or possessing a pistol or other dangerous weapon;
ii. Making or possessing burglar’s instruments;
iii. Buying or receiving or criminally possessing stolen property;
iv. Unlawful entry of a building;
v. Aiding escape from prison;
vi. Unlawfully possessing or distributing habit forming narcotic drugs;
vii. Jostling (Penal Law §165.25), fraudulent accosting (Penal Law §165.30) or
loitering (Penal Law §240.35);
viii. Vagrancy or prostitution; or
ix. Ownership, operation, possession, custody or control of a still.
b. May work in any of the following licensed premises:

i. Catering establishments (CT);
ii. Hotel (HL);
iii. Restaurant (see “restaurant” definition in §3 of the NY ABC Law);
iv. Club (CL); or
v. Recreational Facility (theatre; concert hall; opera house; bowling establishment;
excursion and sightseeing vessel; facilities for golf, tennis, swimming, skiing or
boating; or accommodation of athletic events, sporting events, expositions and
other similar events or occasions requiring the accommodation of large
gatherings of persons),

c. May not work in the following licensed premises, unless such individual has received and executive pardon removing any civil disabilities, a certificate of good conduct, other relief from disabilities or upon the written approval of the New York State Liquor Authority:

i. Nightclub (OP), if not a “Restaurant”;
ii. Tavern (TL, TW);
iii. Cabaret (CR); or
iv. Bar (OP), if not a “Restaurant”.