By now, most employers are familiar with the EEOC’s April 2012 updated enforcement guidance on the use of arrest and conviction records for employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And related state and local laws are quickly gaining momentum. More than 30 cities and at least 26 states now limit the type of criminal background information that employers can obtain or when they can request it.

Effective July 1, 2012, Indiana will join the roster of the restricting states. Its  SB 1033 will, in part, ban certain pre-employment inquiries, limit the types of criminal record information that employers and consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) can obtain from Indiana courts, and restrict criminal history information that CRAs can provide in background reports.

This law also provides that Indiana residents with restricted or sealed criminal records may legally state on an “application for employment or any other document” that they have not been adjudicated, arrested or convicted of the offense specified in these records. Covered employers (the term “employer” is not defined) will be prohibited from asking an “employee, contract employee, or applicant” about such records.

Limiting the scope that can be included in a background report, the law further prohibits courts from disclosing information pertaining to alleged infractions where the individual:

  • is not prosecuted or if the action is dismissed;
  • is adjudged not to have committed the infraction;
  • is adjudged to have committed the infraction and the adjudication is vacated; or
  • was convicted of the infraction and satisfied any judgment attendant to the infraction conviction more than five years ago.

Criminal history providers, such as CRAs, that obtain criminal history information from the state may only furnish information pertaining to criminal convictions, and are prohibited from including the following 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.

Among other significant mandates, criminal history information obtained from the state by CRAs 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.