Thu, March 13th, 2014 - 2:31 pm - By Gordon Basichis
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For those conducting background checks for employment screening in the State of New York, please take note of the following updates on compliance issues.
NY AG PRESS RELEASE RELATING TO EMPLOYERS AND CRAS
We wanted to let you know that today, the NY Attorney General issued a press release relating to employers’ and CRAs’ compliance with NY Article 23-A of the Corrections law. (http://www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-announces-agreements-background-check-agencies-end-illegal-hiring). As you may know, NY Article 23-A of the Corrections law requires that employers consider a number of factors before disqualifying an applicant based upon a criminal conviction.
These factors include, the nature and gravity of the conviction and its bearing, if any, on specific responsibilities of the job sought, the time that elapsed since the conviction, the age of the applicant when the offense was committed, and any evidence of rehabilitation. In addition, the law also requires that employers refrain from considering non-pending arrests that were terminated in favor of the individual and/or resulted in a sealed conviction, youthful offender adjudication, or most violations and infractions, and require that applicants be notified about their rights to request a copy of the consumer report and contest any errors.
As we have discussed at NAPBS meetings in the past, the NY AG’s office has been contacting and investigating both employers and CRAs relating to this law. Specifically, the NY AG’s office was focused on adjudication or hiring criteria that had bright line “does not meet” or “fail” designations prior to an employer applying the factors listed above.
The press release specifically discusses that the NY AG’s office reached out to multiple entities (investigating some of them about their practices) and entered into agreements with 4 entities who agreed not to adjudicate consumer reports as “does not meet” or “fail”.
In light of this new information, CRAs should evaluate their application of employers’ adjudication criteria and make their NY customers aware of this interpretation of the law.