April 22 (Bloomberg) -- Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. will stop rejecting out of hand job applicants with criminal records and evaluate the individual ex-offender’s situation under an agreement with the New York attorney general’s office.

The household goods retailer, which operates more than 1,000 stores across the U.S. and 62 within New York, will pay a $125,000 in the settlement, including $40,000 of restitution to applicants unlawfully denied jobs, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said.

Under New York law, employers are barred from disqualifying any prospective hire automatically on the basis of a criminal record. Such blanket discrimination is illegal in several states and cities and may also violate federal civil rights law, according to the New York-based National Employment Law Project. A company can still look at the nature of a past crime and responsibilities of the particular job in considering an ex- offender.

“This agreement puts employers on notice that slamming the door on job seekers based on past conduct without deciding whether that conduct is relevant to the current job is not only wrong -– it’s unlawful,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

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