Providers are required to conduct pre-employment checks before hiring or otherwise utilizing applicants who will work with individuals with special needs.

1. Staff Exclusion List

The Justice Center is responsible for maintaining a statewide register known as the Staff Exclusion List (SEL) which contains the names of individuals found responsible for serious or repeated acts of abuse and neglect. Individuals on the Staff Exclusion List (SEL) will be prohibited from being hired by any state operated, certified or licensed agencies/providers that serve people with special needs. 

Guidance on requesting a SEL check is found on the following link: http://www.justicecenter.ny.gov/investigations-prosecution/sel/management


2. Executive Law §562 Check

OPWDD providers are notified about final substantiated category 2 findings in the response to the SEL check conducted on an applicant for employment.  This check only applies to OPWDD providers and only to final substantiated category 2 findings after all hearing and appeals have been completed.  If the OPWDD provider is notified that an applicant has a final substantiated category 2 finding, the applicant is provided a copy of that notification via registered mail by the Justice Center. Unlike placement on the Staff Exclusion List, having a final substantiated category 2 finding is not a bar to employment, the information is shared with OPWDD providers to assist in making a hiring determination.

3. Criminal Background Check

If an applicant is not on the Staff Exclusion List, providers may then request a criminal background check (CBC) if they are authorized to do so. Guidance on conducting a CBC is found on the following link: http://www.justicecenter.ny.gov/investigations-prosecutions/cbc

4. Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment

Certain providers are also required to make an inquiry of the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR) through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). Some facilities and provider agencies were already required to conduct an SCR check, but it is a new requirement for others. Information about gaining access to the online SCR check and the OCFS Online Clearance System registration packet can be found on the following link:
http://www.justicecenter.ny.gov/investigations-prosecutions/cbc/access-scrp Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.

5.Mental Hygiene Law §16.34 Check

OPWDD providers are required to request Mental Hygiene Law §16.34 checks for prospective employees and volunteers in the OPWDD system. Information about the process is available on the OPWDD website.