OSWEGO, NY – The Workforce Advocacy Center has filed a lawsuit against the city of Oswego.
The group is challenging an Oswego local law that bans everyone with a felony less than 10 years old from driving a taxi in the Port City, according to Jeremy Zielinski, founder and CEO of the center.
The lawsuit, filed in Oswego County Supreme Court, accuses the city of violating the US and New York State constitutions and Article 23-A of the NY Correction Law, which protects people with criminal records from discrimination, he explained.
It seeks a declaration that Oswego Local Law 2 is invalid and unenforceable, an order forbidding the city from denying taxi driver licenses without following state law.
It also includes an order requiring the city to reimburse the center’s attorney fees.
“Today we followed through on our promise to stand up for the rights of re-entrants,” Zielinski: said. “Let this case be a lesson for others. The Workforce Advocacy Center will not stand idly by as re-entrants are subjected to senseless bigotry.”
The law was passed Sept. 24 by the council.
It is an attempt to ensure proper background checks are done on potential taxicab drivers, Third Ward Councilor Mike Todd said at the time.
“The city has a right to protect its citizens. The outcome of the lawsuit will determine our course of action including the introduction of state legislation,” Council President Ron Kaplewicz told Oswego County Today. “Certainly, convicted sexual predators and other convicted felons should and do have restrictions placed upon them. That is the intent of the local law.”