On November 23, 2015, the Board of Trustees adopted a background check policy for prospective employees of the Village of Cooperstown over the age of 18 years old. The policy was adopted for the safety and well-being of residents, business owners and staff members of the Village of Cooperstown. A copy of the policy, permission form and evaluation criteria can be found on this website by clicking on “work” link above to the employment page.
Prospective employees may only be asked if they have criminal convictions. Under New York State Law, it is illegal to ask for information from applicants regarding arrests or criminal charges. It is important for the public to be aware of these distinctions as often google searches by private individuals will pull up information that cannot be considered when deciding on making an offer of employment.
Pursuant to Article 23-A of the New York State Correction Law there are only two exceptions which may constitute a denial of employment with a listing of criteria that must be followed if denial of employment is to be considered based on those exceptions. The Evaluation Criteria is attached to the background check policy and clearly outlines all the elements that must be considered by the employer under law. This policy will pertain to all full and part-time prospective employees other than full and part-time police officers as a policy is already in place for those positions which are not subject to Article 23-A of New York Correction Law.
As noted in the policy, background check information will only be released to the Village of Cooperstown Board of Trustees and it is considered confidential. At the November 23 meeting, The Village Trustees also approved obtaining background checks on prospective employees through New York State Office of Court Administration.