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New York’s 2019-2020 Budget Significantly Increases Fee for Background Checks

The New York Legislature’s 2019-2020 State Budget includes a drastic increase to the Office of Court Administration (OCA) searches – from $65 to $95 per search.  While the stated purpose of the increase is to fund the state’s indigent defense programs, it begs the question – is the state merely looking for more money or is there some underlying purpose to try to get employers to stop doing background checks?  Hire Image, along with many others have fought against this steep increase.  Unfortunately, to no avail.

Hire Image currently passes through a $68.00 fee, which includes the additional $3.00 OCA processing charge.  With this change, the pass-through fee will now increase to $98.00.  It should be noted that this fee is for each name searched, as the state has also refused to include alias names in the search.  For those who are residents of the State of New York, we encourage you to reach out to your legislators regarding this increase and let your voices be heard.

As a reminder to our clients requesting criminal search reports on New York State applicants, there are other requirements when using criminal records in hiring.  All New York employers are required to provide their candidates with Article 23-A and to follow the rules outlined in the law.  Those in New York City have additional obligations under the Human Rights Fair Chance Act if you may not hire someone based on their criminal records.  Our Screening System makes these forms available for New York applicants.

For any questions on this, please contact our office at

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