New york background check privacy law volunteer fire department

Such a mandate is not uncommon for teachers and staff in education settings across the country.

Worth the Wait: NYS Clarifies Requirements for Sexual Harassment Prevention Programs

New Hampshire, for example, passed a law last year that required anyone working in youth programs such as summer and sports camps, as well as the performing arts to pass a criminal background check. Pennsylvania has now taken the additional step of also requiring volunteers at schools, including parents and grandparents, to clear background checks as well.

Sex Offenders in Maryland; Volunteer Firefighters in New York - Screening News

In fact, the Pennsylvania law extends well beyond schools to other organizations where volunteers may come into contact with children, including volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services EMS personnel. The State of New York passed a similar law in While there is still debate in the emergency management community about the benefits and challenges of taking such precautions, some proponents within these agencies have cited both the increased safety that background verifications can provide for vulnerable populations, as well as the legal risk mitigation it may provide for emergency responders.

Arguably, it is a step in the right direction.

However, it is important to realize that a Pennsylvania criminal search does not extend to other states, such as West Virginia and Maryland, which are only minutes away from some schools in Pennsylvania. To help ensure a more comprehensive search, organizations that work with volunteers may actually want to consider broader screening options, including other states and jurisdictions, sex offender registries and even drug testing.

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Emergency Managers Debate the Need for Background Checks for Volunteers

Such extended background checks can help provide an added layer of safety for vulnerable populations such as children. Furthermore, the additional due diligence may also help shield the organization from potential legal liability claims. Understandably, this can be an area of complexity and confusion for many organizations as they strive to protect the very population they are serving — children.

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I lead the Product Marketing team at HireRight. In fact, the Pennsylvania law extends well beyond schools to other organizations where volunteers may come into contact with children, including volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services EMS personnel.


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The State of New York passed a similar law in While there is still debate in the emergency management community about the benefits and challenges of taking such precautions, some proponents within these agencies have cited both the increased safety that background verifications can provide for vulnerable populations, as well as the legal risk mitigation it may provide for emergency responders.

Arguably, it is a step in the right direction.

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However, it is important to realize that a Pennsylvania criminal search does not extend to other states, such as West Virginia and Maryland, which are only minutes away from some schools in Pennsylvania. To help ensure a more comprehensive search, organizations that work with volunteers may actually want to consider broader screening options, including other states and jurisdictions, sex offender registries and even drug testing. Such extended background checks can help provide an added layer of safety for vulnerable populations such as children.

Furthermore, the additional due diligence may also help shield the organization from potential legal liability claims.

What is Included in a Background Check?

Understandably, this can be an area of complexity and confusion for many organizations as they strive to protect the very population they are serving — children. Download Now. I lead the Product Marketing team at HireRight.

Volunteer firefighters to face stricter background checks with new law | FASNY

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