Today, to quote Billy Joel, I’m in a New York State of mind. The Empire State has got it all from my favorite city in the world, New York City, to Buffalo, Rochester and Albany. They’ve got the best pizza in the world, Buffalo Wings, Garbage Plates (see definition at the bottom of this post) and Wegmans (shout out to my friends from Rochester). And while the state has plenty to brag about, one thing is for sure: conducting employment background checks in New York is a huge pain in the backside.
Warning: None of this information should dissuade you of the notion that you have to conduct employment background checks.
Regardless of the hoops you have to jump through, you still have an obligation to protect your employees, your customers and your business. If that’s not enough, the cost of defending a negligent hiring claim and the average verdict in such cases, let alone the public safety concerns.
No further proof of this responsibility is necessary than a 2012 bus crash in New York which left 15 people dead. While this was just an accident, check out the details NBC-4 in New York uncovered when they investigated the driver.
Williams’ [the driver] criminal record includes the June 2003 arrest for driving with a suspended license. He was also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and possession of the police scanners. Police records show Williams was also charged with three felonies and two misdemeanors as an adult, including pleading guilty to one charge of manslaughter. Documents show Williams served prison time from 1992 through the time he was paroled in 1994 on the manslaughter charge. He also had past arrests for grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property in 1998 and went back to prison, documents show. He was released from parole in 2004. Another past arrest was for “intent to obtain transportation without paying” — which records show he pleaded guilty to a violation back in 1987.
I don’t know where this is in the courts now, but I can only imagine what the cost of this settlement is going to be. So again, you still need to conduct background checks, but we can still always commiserate.
7 Reasons Why Employers Detest Conducting Background Checks in New York