A new law signed yesterday by Mayor Bill de Blasio will prohibit employers from asking about an applicant's criminal record until the end of the hiring process, after an offer is already made.

Known as the Fair Chance Act, the legislation is designed to give job seekers the chance to be considered based on their skills, not written off thanks to what the bill calls "an unchangeable past." Employers may inquire about a candidate's criminal history only after they've concluded that he or she is the best fit for the job.

"Today I see hope for people like me," 52-year-old Marilyn Scales, a former heroin dealer, told the Daily News. Nearly one and three adults in the U.S. has a criminal history that will show up on a background check.

City agencies have already been operating under a similar hiring policy since 2011. Nationwide, 17 states and more than 100 cities and counties have also adopted fair-chance ordinances.

Councilman Jumaane Williams, who co-sponsored the bill, praised it as one of the most progressive in the nation.

"Though the legislation does not require employers to hire any particular applicant, it delays the background check, thus supplementing preexisting law that says employers cannot deny a job because of a record unless there is a direct relationship to the job," he said in a statement. "Not only does employment strengthen communities and lower recidivism, but employers will have access to a broader range of qualified candidates to consider."

The law will officially take effect in 120 days.