New York

New York

EmployeeScreenIQ serves an impressive roster of clients ranging from Fortune 100 organizations to mid-size corporations representing a diversity of industries . 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.

Listed below are some things that those who conduct employee background checks in the state of New York should know.


State Capital



The state of New York has 62 counties.

State Court Structure

  • Trial Courts: The state of New York’s courts of original instance are made up of Village Courts, Town Courts, City Courts, District Courts, County Courts and Supreme Courts. Felony cases are heard in both the County and Supreme courts.
  • Appellate Courts: The Appellate Division primarily hears appeals from the superior courts (Supreme Court, surrogate’s courts, family courts, county courts, and Court of Claims) in civil cases, the Supreme Court in criminal cases, and the county courts in felony criminal cases.  In addition, in civil cases it may hear appeals from the appellate terms of the Supreme Court when these courts have heard appeals from one of the lower trial courts.
  • Supreme Court of New York: Decisions by the Appellate Division may be appealed to the state’s highest court, the New York Court of Appeals

Special Note: The New York Office of Court Administration (OCA) is the administrative entity for approximately 16 counties in New York. Criminal history records in these counties are only accessible through the OCA, which charges $70.00 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).

Federal Court Structure

Trial Courts:

  • United States District Court for the New York Eastern District Court
  • United States District Court for the New York Northern District Court
  • United States District Court for the New York Southern District Court
  • United States District Court for the New York Western District Court

Appellate Court:

  • Federal cases in New York are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Ban the Box Laws

  • The State of New York does not have a statewide ban the box provision.
  • City and County Ban the Box: Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, and Yonkers

New York City Fair Chance Act

New York City passed the Fair Chance Act on September 3, 2015 which addresses employers’ responsibilities as they relate to criminal background checks. The law, set to take effect on Tuesday, October 27, 2015, is designed to delay criminal background screening to allow candidates an opportunity to interview and be considered for jobs before potential elimination by a background check. Under the Fair Chance Act, New York City employers are prohibited from inquiring or obtaining any statement about an applicant’s criminal background until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.  For purposes of the Act, “any statement” means a statement communicated in writing or otherwise to the applicant for purposes of obtaining criminal background information regarding: (i) an arrest record; (ii) a conviction record; or (iii) a criminal background check. For more details about this law please click here.

Credit Reports

The state of New York does not have a law that restricts the use of credit reports in the hiring process. However, New York City passed the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (SCDEA), which went into effect on September 3, 2015, prohibits employers from using an individual’s consumer credit history when making employment decisions about applicants or current employees.  The law includes a limited set of exemptions which can be found by clicking here.

Authorizations and Disclosures for a Consumer Report

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.

Other Limitations on Screening for Employers

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 employers must comply with the New York State Correction Law Article 23-A, Section 753 which, among other things, requires that employers who are using a criminal record to use a job related test using specified factors. Employers must post a copy of Article 23-A in place of business, must present a copy of 23-A to the subject of a background check when consent to conduct a background check is requested, and 23-A must be given to the subject in the event that a criminal conviction is revealed on the background check. Employers may not ask about any arrests or charges that did not result in conviction unless that case is still pending, and generally cannot deny employment based on a conviction unless it directly relates to the job responsibilities or would be an unreasonable risk. The state has limitations on considering misdemeanor convictions older than 5 years unless the person has been convicted of another crime within the last 5 years.

Medical Marijuana

The state of New York has a law which legalizes medical marijuana.

Social Media

There are no laws in the state of New York that restrict or limit private employers from accessing and requesting employee/candidate log in information for personal social media accounts.

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.