A California Court of Appeal has issued a ruling that has resulted in California courts prohibiting the use of dates of birth, driver license numbers, and other identifiers to filter online search results. By redacting date of births from the California court system’s terminal, it makes it more difficult to perform background checks. Employers who have implemented background checks for their workplaces need to be aware of these changes and the impact they have on their policies. This impacts employers regardless if their business is located in the state of California, because applicants who previously lived in California will be restricted by this new requirement.
When using this information to perform a background search, along with an individual’s name, it ensures that a court record under a given name belongs to a particular individual. Redacting this information has already created tremendous obstacles, leading multiple organizations to work with the California Judicial Council to modify the California Rules of Court to alleviate these issues. Although requests are already in the works to modify the new ruling, any changes made most likely won’t occur until 2022.
As of August 20, the following counties have removed date of birth from their online portals and their public-access terminals:
• Los Angeles
• San Joaquin
Additionally, the following counties have removed date of birth from their online portals, but not their public-access terminals:
• Santa Clara
San Bernardino is working to retire its current portal and terminals in favor of a system that will not give access to date of birth. As of August 24, all of the above jurisdiction’s clerks are still verifying date of birth in person with the exception of Los Angeles.
These counties have already acted, but it is expected that all California counties will follow suit.
What Does This Mean for Employers?
The California’s Court of Appeal decision has led to many disruptions with background checks. Employers who are affected by this change should consider the following:
• Provide as many identifiers as possible when entering an initial background screening request (e.g., a middle name or initial). This will aid in searches and ensure accuracy.
• Expect delays in turnaround times, some as long as weeks.
o Especially if in-person verifications are necessary.
• Although it is a statewide issue, it has a nationwide impact, and no background screener can avoid this problem!
o Background screens are based on where an applicant has previously lived in the last 7 years.
How Can DISA Help?
As your trusted third-party administrator (TPA), DISA can ensure you create and maintain an employee screening policy custom to your industry needs. As background screening laws continue to change, DISA is here to help you navigate complexities and keep you informed. Our professionals can assist you with maintaining compliance, staying up-to-date on the latest news and trends, and implementing best practices to keep your workplace safe.
Are you an employer and still have questions regarding employment screening?
DISA can help! Get answers directly from DISA’s subject matter experts with ‘Ask DISA’
Visit www.askdisa.com to ask your questions today.
About DISA Global Solutions
Founded in 1986, DISA is the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. Headquartered in Houston, with more than 35 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, DISA’s comprehensive scope of services includes drug and alcohol testing, background screening, occupational health, and transportation compliance. DISA assists employers in making informed staffing decisions while building a culture of safety in their workplace.