California Senate Bill 1262 Would Help Stop Delays in Criminal Background Checks

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California Senate Bill 1262 Would Help Stop Delays in Criminal Background Checks

The California State Assembly is expected to vote on Senate Bill 1262 (SB 1262) – legislation that would help stop delays in criminal background checks by allowing public access to identifiers used to match individuals to court records – during the week starting Monday, August 8, 2022. SB 1262 was passed by a unanimous vote by the California State Senate in May 2022.

NEWS UPDATE FOR SEPTEMBER 1, 2022: The California State Assembly passed Senate Bill 1262 (SB 1262) on August 31, 2022, according to the webpage for SB 1262 on the California State Legislature website. The bill will now head to the desk of California Governor Gavin Newsom for final approval.

SB 1262 would help companies that conduct criminal background checks for employment purposes since they usually search court records for identifiers such as date of birth or driver’s license number along with the subject’s name so they can be sure they are looking at the correct records to comply with accuracy requirements under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Introduced by California State Senator Steven Bradford (D-35th District) in February 2022, SB 1262 would amend Section 69842 of the California Government Code to read (in part): Publicly accessible electronic indexes of defendants in criminal cases shall permit searches and filtering of results based on a defendant’s driver’s license number or date of birth, or both.

SB 1262 was proposed in response to the May 2021 California Court of Appeals ruling in All of Us or None v. Hamrick that a date of birth or driver’s license number could not be used to identify an individual when searching a court’s electronic criminal index. The ruling based on California Rules of Court, Rule 2.507 made criminal background checks in California more difficult.

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA)  a non-profit organization that represents the background screening industry – supports the passage of SB 1262 and has urged PBSA members and companies performing background checks in California to immediately contact their Assemblymembers to discuss their support for SB 1262 before the vote.

A survey titled “Background Screening: Trends in the U.S. and Abroad” released in August 2021 by the PBSA and HR.com indicated that criminal background checks were the most common type of background screening used by employers. The survey found that 93 percent of those organizations surveyed said they relied on criminal background checks when screening.

ClearStar – a founding member of the PBSA that is accredited by the PBSA – is a leading Human Resources (HR) technology company that specializes in background checks, drug tests, clinical tests, and occupational health screening. Like the PBSA, ClearStar supports the passage of California Senate Bill 1262. To learn more, contact ClearStar today.

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    Thomas Ahearn - Digital Content Editor

    Thomas Ahearn is a Digital Content Editor at ClearStar, a leading Human Resources (HR) technology company specializing in background, drug, and occupational health screening. He writes about a variety of topics in the background screening industry including "Ban the Box," class action lawsuits, credit reports, criminal records, drug testing, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), HR technology, identity theft and fraud, privacy, social media background checks, and workplace violence.

    At ClearStar, we are committed to your success. An important part of your employment screening program involves compliance with various laws and regulations, which is why we are providing information regarding screening requirements in certain countries, region, etc. While we are happy to provide you with this information, it is your responsibility to comply with applicable laws and to understand how such information pertains to your employment screening program. The foregoing information is not offered as legal advice but is instead offered for informational purposes. ClearStar is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice and this communication does not form an attorney client relationship. The foregoing information is therefore not intended as a substitute for the legal advice of a lawyer knowledgeable of the user’s individual circumstances or to provide legal advice. ClearStar makes no assurances regarding the accuracy, completeness, or utility of the information contained in this publication. Legislative, regulatory and case law developments regularly impact on general research and this area is evolving rapidly. ClearStar expressly disclaim any warranties or responsibility or damages associated with or arising out of the information provided herein.

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