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State-Specific Considerations for New York Background Checks

EmployeeScreenIQ serves an impressive roster of clients ranging from Fortune 100 organizations screening several thousand people per month to small businesses with occasional screening needs. So whether you employ people in New York, throughout the United States or in over 200 countries abroad, we are your one stop shop for employment background checks.

Here are some important things New York-based employers should keep in mind when conducting employment background checks.

New York Court Structure:

  • There are 62 counties in the state of New York
  • Upper courts that handle Felony type records are referred to as County or Supreme Courts.
  • Lower courts that handle Misdemeanor type records are referred to as City, Town, Village, or District Courts.
  • New York lower courts do not allow individuals or companies to search for criminal records. Such records can be found by conducting an Office of Court Administration Search.

New York Office of Court Administration — approximately 16 counties in New York participate in the OCA program, which denies direct access to individual county criminal history records. Criminal history records in these counties are only accessible through the OCA, which charges $65.00 for a "statewide" search (fee will only be incurred once for each unique name searched, as it covers all OCA counties; fee will be billed for each alias name searched).
New York Counties currently accessible only through the OCA which will incur this fee are:

  • Allegany
  • Bronx
  • Cayuga
  • Chemung
  • Cortland
  • Delaware
  • Fulton
  • Hamilton
  • Kings
  • Montgomery
  • Nassau
  • New York
  • Orleans
  • Putnam
  • Queens
  • Richmond

Criminal Record Searches Available:

  • County Court Searches
  • Office of Court Administration Searches
  • Sex Offender Registry

New York employers must inform subjects of investigative consumer reports (background checks) of their right to inspect and receive a copy of the completed report. Check out our sample applicant release.

As of February 5, 2009 New York employers must comply with the New York State Correction Law Article 23-A, Section 753 “Licensure and Employment of Persons Previously Convicted of One or More Criminal Offenses which requires that employers who are using a criminal record to consider the following factors:

  • The duties of the job
  • The relationship between the offense and the position sought
  • How long ago the conviction occurred
  • Applicants age at the time
  • Seriousness of offense
  • Rehabilitation and good conduct

Employers must post a copy of Article 23-A in place of business in a conspicuous area. They must present a copy of this document to the subject of a background check when consent to conduct a background check is requested. Furthermore, the document must be given to the subject of a background check once again in the event that a criminal conviction is revealed on the background check.


Specific State of New York Laws to Keep in Mind

  • Employers may not ask about any arrests or charges that did not result in conviction unless that case is still pending.
  • Employers with 10 or more employers cannot deny employment based on a conviction unless it directly relates to the job responsibilities or would be an unreasonable risk to property, the public or personal safety.
  • Misdemeanor convictions older than 5 years cannot be considered unless the person has been convicted of another crime within the last 5 years.

EmployeeScreenIQ serves clients throughout the state of New York including:

  • New York
  • Buffalo
  • Rochester
  • Yonkers
  • Syracuse
  • Albany
  • Cheektowaga
  • New Rochelle
  • Mount Vernon
  • Schenectady

The information on this page is provided as general educational information and is not legal advice, either express or implied.  Consultation with qualified legal counsel is recommended for all matters of employment law.

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NAPBSEmployeescreenIQ is a founding member of the NAPBS and has earned distinction of an NAPBS Accredited organization based on our proven record and demonstration of excellence, quality and service.

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