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Keeping Things Unique in the State of New York

You may have heard this tongue twister before: “Unique New York.” That’s more than just a vocal warm-up for theater folks or a line from Will Ferrell’s character “Ron Burgundy” in Anchorman. It accurately describes the uniqueness of New York City. That one-of-a-kind city is only one part of what makes the state of New York special. It has big-city high rises and upstate cottages, and so much more.

Staying with its unique nature, the state of New York has its own background check disclosure requirements. We have previously talked about state-specific disclosure requirements in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, California, and more. What sets New York apart?

The New York Specific Requirements

If you screen people who live or work in New York, you may want to pay attention to New York law.

Before getting a background report on them as part of an application for credit, employment, insurance, or property rental, you must provide them with a New York specific disclosure.  The disclosure must:

  • Be in writing.
  • State that a consumer (background) report may be requested in connection with the application.
  • Advise that, upon their request, they will be informed if a background report was requested. And, if so, that they can be provided with the name and address of the background report provider.

Extra Steps for Interview-Based Checks

New York has more requirements when you do certain verifications, like reference checks or some job history checks, on people who live or work in New York as part of an application for credit, employment, insurance or property rental. If your background reports contain information from personal interviews (known as an “investigative consumer report” under New York law), you have to provide another disclosure to them.  The investigative consumer report disclosure must:

  • Be in writing.
  • State that you may procure or cause to be prepared an investigative consumer report.
  • Advise that, upon their written request, they will be informed if an investigative consumer report was requested. And, if so, that they can be provided with the name and address of the background report provider.
  • Include a copy of Article 23-A of the New York Correction Law, if the investigative consumer report was obtained for employment purposes.

If you still have questions about whether your New York disclosures pass muster, you may want to talk with your legal counsel.

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