IMPORTANT UPDATE: Redaction of Information within California Court Records

A-Check Global continues to follow and participate in efforts related to a California ruling to remove date of birth from public records, and we wanted to take just a moment to keep you updated on recent progress surrounding this issue.

As you know, background check companies—like A-Check Global—rely on searching public indexes for criminal record information in California courts. While a 2021 lawsuit (All of Us or None, v. Hamrick) was brought against the Riverside Superior Court only, the court of appeal’s ruling impacted the majority of California state courts, because the court’s ruling was based on a statewide law: California Rules of Court, rule 2.507.

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA)—an important, non-profit organization established to represent Consumer Reporting Agencies offering employment background screening services—continues to vigorously advocate to retain the DOB within California County court records as a critical identifier in accurate, comprehensive background screening. Here’s a quick look at recent developments.

California Judicial Council
In 2021, PBSA made a rules change request to the California Judicial Council requesting clarification that Rule 2.507 allow for the use of date of birth and driver’s license as a search term, or filter to the results returned. PBSA’s request was denied by the Judicial Council in December of 2021.

On February 11, 2022 the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) filed a follow-up request to the Judicial Rules Council to again consider clarification to rule 2.507. CDIA and PBSA have engaged a group of allied associations and organizations and are requesting that they submit letters to the Judicial Council in support of CDIA’s request. The hope is that with this new request, and now that redaction has been implemented in LA County, the Judicial Council will recognize the impact of this issue.

California Legislation
On February 17, 2022, California Senate Bill 1262 was introduced by Senator Bradford. If passed, this bill would require publicly accessible electronic indexes of defendants in criminal cases to permit searches and filtering of results based on a defendant’s driver’s license number or date of birth, or both. Of course, next steps would include working with partner organizations and associations to support this bill through committee and ultimately a vote.

PBSA has prepared motions to intervene as a plaintiff in current Sonoma and Merced lawsuits—the goal being to file a cross-complaint against the courts to maintain the status quo and leave the date of birth search fields accessible within indexes on the court websites. PBSA anticipates this effort will be a very long process, lasting throughout 2022 and likely into 2023. They also anticipate there may be additional lawsuits in other California counties throughout 2022, which PBSA will monitor closely.

Here at A-Check, please know that we have not relaxed our standard processes for criminal record searches. Prior to presenting permissible results to our clients, we still require 3 identifiers to authenticate the identity of search information. In spite of challenges we face throughout numerous counties within California, we will continue to serve our valued clients to the best of our ability.

We’re here to help answer any questions you may have.


Compliance Clips for February 2022


Highlights in Background Screening Legislation
Let’s all work together to help minimize the risk of non-compliance within your employment background screening program. Time to review your screening practices for 2022, as last year, many states enacted ban-the-box and other laws impacting background screening. Here are the highlights:

Illinois amended the Illinois Human Rights Act, making it more difficult to reject applicants or terminate employees based on conviction history. Adverse employment action, based on criminal conviction history, may only take place if it directly relates to a job or presents unreasonable risk to workplace safety.

Louisiana passed a “Fair Chance” law prohibiting employers with 20+ employees within the state from considering an arrest or charge not resulting in a conviction if the record was presented during an employment background check.

New York City amended its Fair Chance Act. Guidance within this new legislation states that employers may not consider charges without convictions, must follow a specific process when considering a pending record, and may only reject an applicant if the applicant intentionally failed to disclose or misrepresented criminal history.

Philadelphia expanded its Ban the Box legislation to now cover criminal history inquiries for independent contractors, gig workers, and current employees.

Salary Transparency Law for Applicants and Employees
On December 15, 2021, the New York City Council passed legislation—as part of a growing, multi-state/city effort to overcome pay disparity—amending the NYC Human Rights Law to now require that employers disclose salary ranges in job postings. This law, in effect beginning May 14, 2022, will cover all NYC employers with four or more employees, and is just the latest in a quickly growing legislation movement to promote pay transparency across job openings, position transfers, and promotion opportunities.

For your reference—although it’s a snapshot of legislation as it exists today—here’s a quick look at states and cities that currently require employers to disclose salary ranges to applicants and employees.

Anti-Discrimination Legislation
This review of new anti-discrimination laws enacted in 2021 and yet to enact in 2022 illustrate that lawmakers continue to expand on employee protection legislation. Many new laws focus on natural hair and race-based hairstyle discrimination. Be sure you’re familiar with laws impacting your organization.


Nationwide Federal Contractors
Under the Fair Chance Act, federal contractors—in certain cases—are now prohibited from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal history during the initial employment application process. In general, the FCA covers both civilian agency and defense contractors, and prohibits criminal history inquiries until after the contractor has extended a conditional employment offer.



Nationwide Legislation
With increasing public and legislative support for marijuana acceptance, 2022 could easily be another busy year for legalization. Every year, it’s important for employers to review drug testing policies to take new laws into consideration. Please know that A-Check Global is always here to help as you determine the course of your own employment drug testing, but in the meantime, here’s a quick look back at marijuana law activity—state by state—throughout 2021.


Questions? We’re here to help!