New Criminal Public Records Availability Policy implemented in Indiana Courthouses

Recently the State of Indiana made changes restricting the public availability of certain types of criminal records. These changes will narrow the scope of criminal records that can be researched at the courthouse, so end users of criminal records research in Indiana should expect fewer records reported for applicants in that state.

The new law prohibits Indiana employers from conducting certain pre-employment inquiries, suppresses public access to prohibited criminal history information and modifies what Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) can report on a background report.

Effective July 1, 2012, HB 1033 allows Indiana residents with restricted or sealed criminal records to state legally on an “application for employment or any other document” that they have not been adjudicated, arrested, or convicted of an offense that has been restricted and prohibits employers from asking an employee, contract employee, or applicant about sealed and restricted criminal records. HB 1033 also prohibits courts from disclosing information pertaining to alleged infractions where the individual:

  • Is not prosecuted or if the action against the person is dismissed
  • Is adjudged not to have committed the infraction
  • 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.

Effective July 1, 2013, the law also will restrict information that “criminal history providers” (which include CRAs) can report to others. Under the law, criminal history providers that obtain criminal history information from the state may only provide information pertaining to criminal convictions. The law explicitly states that criminal history providers such as CRAs will no longer be permitted to provide the following information in background reports:

  • an infraction, an arrest or a charge 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 Class D felony conviction has been entered as or converted to a Class A misdemeanor conviction; and
  • a record that the criminal history provider knows is inaccurate.

Moreover, CRAs that obtain state criminal records information may not include the information in an assembled report unless the information is updated to reflect changes to the official record occurring 60 days or more before the date the criminal history report is delivered.

Finally, the law allows the court to convert a charge of a Class D felony to a Class A misdemeanor either during sentencing or after the individual satisfies the requirements of the Class D felony upon request of the individual. This only applies to certain Class D felonies as outlined in the statute. Beginning July 1, 2013, Class D felonies that have been converted to Class A misdemeanors will no longer be allowed to be reported.
Implications for Employers

The apparent intent of the legislation is to limit the scope of Indiana criminal record information that can be made available to employers and other entities that utilize the information. It is important for employers to be aware that background reports provided to them may not reflect the complete Indiana criminal history for an applicant or employee because the law will preclude the reporting of certain criminal history information. Of equal importance, Indiana employers should ensure that they do not ask applicants or employees whether they have sealed or restricted criminal records on an employment application or otherwise.

The full text of Indiana House Bill No. 1033 is available at:
http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2012/HB/HB1033.1.html

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Partner Spotlight: MERIT Profile – Character and Behavior Matter in the Workplace!

Character and Behavior Matter in the Workplace!
Whether you are the CEO, a supervisor, or a line worker, the impact of character and behavior in the workplace can be significant. Research shows that hiring the wrong person can and will…

…harm sales
…harm stock price
…worsen employee fraud
…worsen employee absenteeism
…cause dissension and lack of trust among leaders and employees

Did You Know?
An individual’s character and behavior is the foundation to their Personal Leadership Effectiveness, which drives their overall performance, productivity, team efficiency and bottom-line results. The Personal Leadership Effectiveness of any individual comprises…

  • Trust / Ethics / Integrity
  • Problem Solving
  • Managing Challenges
  • Commitment To Excellence
  • Good Relational / Communication Skills
  • Handling of Conflict Appropriately
  • Compassion / Empathy for Others
  • Team Empowerment

Hiring Beyond Just Education, Job Skills & Work Experience
Character and behavior are VITAL FACTORS. True, an individual’s education, job skills and work experience are very important, but they are not the primary factors in Personal Leadership Effectiveness.

An individual can have multiple degrees, excellent job skills and years of experience. However, some people will still…

  • Display a poor work ethic, poor attitude
  • Embrace a poor self image or lack self-esteem
  • Neglect the core values of the organization
  • Lack motivation to accomplish the organizational mission
  • Be stressed and out of balance…personally and professionally
  • Cause conflicts with other team members
  • Reflect poor character attributes
  • Overreact to certain challenges, versus finding ways to realign
  • Quit too soon when faced with certain challenges

All of these are character and behavior issues. They have nothing to do with a person’s formal education, job skills or extensive work experience.

The solution: MERIT, a 60-question, web-based character and behavior survey instrument that provides actionable insight not normally obtained through traditional aptitude testing or interviews alone. Check out the sample MERIT reports below, designed to provide hiring managers a unique view into an individual’s character and behavior traits.

View a sample MERIT Recruitment Report (PDF)
View a Sample MERIT Development Report (PDF)

“Helping Organizations Improve the Predictability of Their Human Capital Decisions”

 

Substance Abuse Screening Options: Instant Drug Detection Devices

Today’s generation of advanced instant screening devices allow employers to clear and place applicants with speed and peace of mind.

For employers and job functions not regulated by DOT, the use of these devices can mean the difference between instant placement of an applicant and two days wait through a lab-based urinalysis process.

Available evidence shows virtually no difference in error rates between lab-based substance abuse screening and reputable instant-detection type devices, making them an ideal option that delivers results faster and more economically.

T-CUP – Instant Urinalysis Cups
A-Check offers the Premier Biotech T-CUP, an instant drug detection cup that features detection of up to 15 drugs of abuse with an accuracy of 99 percent. Results are available in as little as one minute. The T-CUP is fast, efficient and economical.

ORAL DETECT – Instant Oral Fluid Drug Detection
For a less intrusive method with virtually no “ick” factor, A-Check offers the Premier Biotech ORAL DETECT, a unique and innovative oral fluid drug testing device that delivers accurate results in as little as 6 minutes. Oral Detect eliminates the need for controlled collection sites and same-sex collectors, prevents adulteration, and eliminates “shy bladder” issues.

Regulated Industries
For our regulated industries clients covered under DOT rules, A-Check offers a comprehensive suite of lab-based drug and alcohol screening services tailored to the needs of each client, ensuring compliance and safety. A-Check has extensive experience in development and management of DOT programs covered under FMCSA, FAA, and PHMSA agencies.

the 2012 DOT Random Testing Rates Notice from the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance.

Partnering with an experienced third party administrator like A-Check for your substance abuse screening program ensures the effectiveness of this crucial link in your organization’s risk mitigation strategy. Contact A-Check today to discuss how we can help you meet your organization’s substance abuse screening needs.

I-9 and E-Verify Compliance Inspections on the Rise

Notice: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only as a service to A-Check clients and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. Every situation is different therefore it is important to obtain competent legal counsel specific to your situation to protect your organization.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is cracking down on employers who fail to comply with federal laws on immigration compliance. In recent months, ICE has issued thousands of Notices of Inspection that require employers to submit, within three days, all of the legally required forms I-9 and supporting documentation for all of their employees.

“Fines for knowingly employing illegal aliens range from $375 to $14,000 for unauthorized workers, while fines for paperwork I-9 violations can range from $110 to $1,100, with higher fines being imposed based on a percentage of errors,” Ogletree Deakins reports. Continue reading “I-9 and E-Verify Compliance Inspections on the Rise”