How Do I Get a New York State Background Check?


Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

Are you interested in performing a background check in New York? If so, you’re not alone. There are plenty of types of records in the state. Some of them are public documents, which means you can access them through open records or Freedom of Information laws. Perhaps you want to check out the background of a new acquaintance or long-lost relative. Regardless of your motivation, you’ll find it useful to learn about how to access these public records.

Criminal records

It is vital to obtain a New York State background check for criminal records every couple of years. Not only does it protect you from identity theft, but it also helps prevent your identity from being stolen by others. All you need is a valid New York State identification number and you’ll be able to access criminal records of anyone. You can even find out the criminal record of a sex offender or a parolee in your state.

However, you’ll have to pay to perform a New York criminal history check. You need to request the report through the New York Office of Court Administration, which requires the person’s name and date of birth match precisely. The report, however, is limited to revealing convictions and pending cases within New York state. It will not show employment records or a person’s criminal record from other states. The New York Office of Court Administration also restricts the data it provides to towns and villages. Because of these limitations, many people have avoided performing a New York background check.

Required by law

If you’re hiring an employee, New York state background checks are required by law. These records search public records to discover key information about the candidate. Federal criminal history records uncover federal crimes like tax evasion, embezzlement, mail fraud, and more. New York State background checks uncover pending criminal cases, but consumer reporting agencies cannot report non-conviction records. There are exceptions, however, such as jobs with salaries over $25k a year.

In New York, employers are prohibited from discriminating against a person because of their criminal history. However, they cannot discriminate based on their criminal history unless the conviction is related to the job or license the applicant is applying for. Consequently, employers must use the same criteria that apply to all New York state background checks as EEOC and avoid discrimination by hiring applicants based solely on their criminal record.

Available to employers

If you have ever been denied a job because of a criminal history, you should be aware of the rights and options available to you as an employer. New York law prohibits employers from discriminating against people based on their criminal history. It also states that employers can only conduct background checks if the conviction is directly related to the nature of the job. In addition, New York has adopted a Fair Chance Act that prohibits employers from requesting applicants’ criminal records unless they have a conditional job offer.

The federal and state Fair Credit Reporting Act govern background checks. Employers are allowed to perform these checks if the person has a criminal history. While there are some exceptions, most employers in New York State are required to provide applicants with information about these background checks three days before the action takes place. Further, a background check performed under the state’s law is not permitted to reveal information about credit history, salary history, and other types of records unless the applicant provides it.

Requires a fair chance analysis

Article 23-A of the New York State Human Rights Law requires an employer who contemplates adverse action to complete an analysis of the fair chance factors. This analysis includes evaluating whether hiring a person with a criminal conviction record would pose an unreasonable risk to the employer’s safety, welfare, or property. A background check is not required if the applicant is not currently employed.

Employers are not allowed to permanently place another person in an applicant’s prospective position if the applicant is unfit for the job. Under the Fair Chance Act (FCA), employers are allowed to perform a background check on an applicant if the inquiry is made within five business days of the applicant receiving a criminal history report and FCA Notice. During that time, the employer must consider additional information provided by the applicant to determine whether it is fair to hire the applicant.

Does not require sealed records

If you are a job applicant, a potential employer or an applicant for certain jobs, you may be wondering if a New York state background check requires sealed records. Well, it’s possible! This option is granted to New Yorkers under the Rockefeller Drug Law Reform. These laws can conditionally seal certain drug convictions and expunge some, like marijuana misdemeanors. A New York background check will not require sealed records to be disclosed, but people may still get their rights back through other avenues, such as a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or a Certificate of Good Conduct. In addition, arrests in other states, like federal, do not show up on a New York state background check.

However, if you are interested in applying for a job that requires a New York state background check, you may want to consider hiring an attorney to assist you with the process. While you can attempt to seal your own criminal history records, a professional attorney will ensure that your application is error-free. Additionally, an attorney can represent you at any hearings you may need to attend. Judges and prosecutors are experts at tearing apart a person’s explanation, so you’ll need a knowledgeable attorney to make your case to them.

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