New York Background Checks laws & HR compliance analysis

New York Background Checks: What you need to know

There are a number of ways for employers to gather information on a job applicant’s background. Employers may simply call an applicant's former employer to confirm the applicant's dates of employment and title and to try to obtain a more detailed reference from a supervisor. However, more and more frequently, employers are hiring third parties to conduct background checks on applicants who have been offered employment. In addition, depending on the nature of the position, employers are requesting reports about an applicant's driving record, criminal record, and/or credit history. There are often legal limits on employers obtaining and using this type of information. When employers hire a third party to conduct a background check or to obtain reports from outside agencies, such reports are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws. In New York, employers must comply with laws concerning consumer reports, criminal background checks, and driver's record information.
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In addition to FCRA, employers must comply with the New York law regulating the use of investigative agencies to perform background investigations on employees or prospective employees (NY Gen. Bus. Law Sec. 380-aet seq.). The requirements for obtaining consumer reports under the New York statute are, for the most part, the same as the requirements under FCRA including that before requesting a consumer report, the employer must provide the employee with a clear and conspicuous written disclosure informing the employee that a consumer report may be obtained for employment purposes. The disclosure must be in a document that consists solely of the required disclosures and the employer ...

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