Indiana Reporting Restrictions in Criminal Background Checks

criminal background checksIndiana has now joined a handful of other states by implementing changes in what can be legally reported in criminal background checks.  The EEOC has been leading the charge with sweeping changes aimed at limiting the use of criminal records for employment decisions. So we should not be surprised that states and local governments are also starting to move in this direction.  Indiana House Enrolled Act 1033, has several restrictions on the use of criminal records.  However, part of the law was effective July 1, 2012 and other sections of the statute do not take effect until July 1, 2013.

Let’s look at the criminal history restrictions that are in place as of July 1, 2012:

  • Residents of Indiana with restricted or sealed criminal records may legally state on an “application for employment or any other document” that they have not been arrested or convicted of the restricted or sealed record(s).
  • Covered employers will NOT be allowed to ask an employee, contractor or applicant about sealed or restricted criminal records (the statute does not define the term employer).
  • The law restricts what information individuals, background screening firms and employers can obtain from clerks of the courts.  The law prohibits courts from disclosing information related to infractions(important to note this refers to infractions not misdemeanor and felonies) where the person is:
    • not prosecuted or case is dismissed;
    • not convicted;
    • convicted of the infraction but case is vacated; or
    • convicted of the infraction and satisfied any judgment to the infraction conviction more than 5 years ago.

Effective July 1, 2013, the law will restrict what “criminal history providers” can report.  The law will only allow the reporting of convictions and Consumer Reporting Agencies (background screening firms) will no longer be able to report the following:

  • an infraction, charge or arrest that did not result in a conviction;
  • a  record that has been expunged;
  • a record indicating a conviction of a Class D felony if the felony conviction has been converted to a Class A misdemeanor; and
  • a record that the criminal history provider knows is inaccurate.
  • any record that has not been verified with the court within the past 60 days.

How do you think the new law will impact your criminal background checks program?

Join us for a free webinar to discuss the new laws:  New Indiana Laws Restrict Criminal History Reporting