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What are the New York state laws affecting background investigations of applicants?

by on
in Employment Background Check,Human Resources

Q. We are considering using an investigative agency to verify applicants’ prior employment, education and possible criminal background. Are there any New York laws that are applicable?

A.
Yes. There is a state statute very similar to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Like the federal law, New York’s law (N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law §380-b) requires the applicant be notified of the intent to obtain a consumer report for employment purposes and authorize the background check in advance and in writing.

That written authorization, per the regulations, must be on a document separate from the application. Presumably, this is to ensure that the applicant gives it some special consideration.

Also, if the applicant is going to be rejected, he or she needs to be sent a pre-adverse action disclosure before rejection occurs. Once the application is formally rejected, a notice of adverse action must also be given.

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