Attention Indiana Employers: New Law Restricts Criminal Background Checks

As you know, criminal records are in the hot seat right now. And it’s not just the EEOC lighting the fire. Starting July 1, 2012, Indiana employers are facing a new law that significantly impacts employment background check programs throughout the state.

Indiana House Bill 1033 prohibits certain pre-employment inquiries, restricts the types of criminal history information that employers and employment background screening providers (known as consumer reporting agencies or CRAs, under state and federal law), can obtain from Indiana state court clerks, and restricts what CRAs can report to employers in background check reports.

Here’s what you need to know…

…about what you can obtain from employees and job candidates:

  • Residents of Indiana who have restricted or sealed criminal records may legally state on an employment application that they have NOT been adjudicated, arrested or convicted of the offense reported in the restricted record.
  • Employers may not ask employees or job applicants about the existence of any restricted or sealed records.

…about what you and your background screening provider (CRA) can obtain from the State of Indiana:

The new law prohibits courts from disclosing information pertaining to alleged infractions where the individual:

  • is not prosecuted or if the action against the person is dismissed (an arrest-only record);
  • is adjudged not to have committed the infraction (a non-conviction record);
  • is adjudged to have committed the infraction and the adjudication is subsequently vacated; or
  • was convicted of the infraction and satisfied any judgment attendant to the infraction conviction more than five years ago.

…about what your background screening provider (CRA) can report to you:

When it comes to Indiana criminal records, employment background screening providers (CRAs) are now further restricted in what they can report to employers.  Under the law, criminal history information obtained from the state may only provide information pertaining to criminal convictions.

What’s more, the law explicitly states that background screening providers (CRAs) may no longer provide the following information in background check reports:

  • an infraction, an arrest or a charge that did not result in a conviction (an arrest-only or non-conviction record);
  • a record that has been sealed or expunged;
  • a record indicating a conviction of a Class D felony if the Class D felony conviction has been entered as or converted to a Class A misdemeanor conviction; and
  • a record known to be inaccurate.

In addition, background screening providers (CRAs) that obtain criminal history information from the state may not include any Indiana criminal record information in an assembled report unless the CRA updates the information to reflect changes to the official record occurring 60 days or more before the date the criminal history report is delivered.  

Key Takeaway:

When you order criminal records that are sourced from the State of Indiana it’s important to keep in mind that what’s reported may not give you the same picture or your applicants and employees you’re accustomed to seeing.  This new law has also highlighted the importance of utilizing the services of a background screening provider (CRA) focused on its, and your, current and ongoing compliance with the numerous complex and increasingly fluid state and federal laws regulating employment background checks.

Questions about the Indiana law and its impact on your background screening program? Check with your attorney and talk to an employment screening expert.

 

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About Michael Gaul

A security industry professional since 1988, Michael has extensive expertise in the fields of human capital risk management, physical security, and background screening process management. Michael leads Proforma’s sales, marketing, and strategic customer relations efforts.
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