A new law in Indiana that takes effect July 1, 2013 – Indiana House Enrolled Act No. 1482 – will allow state residents to have certain old criminal records “expunged” or erased by the courts and could create job opportunities for ex-offenders. Signed into law by Governor Mike Pence in May 2013, this “second chance” law applies to both employers based in Indiana and those who hire workers in the state. The full text of the new law is available at http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2013/HE/HE1482.1.html.
Under Indiana House Enrolled Act No. 1482, it “is unlawful discrimination for any person to: suspend; expel; refuse to employ; refuse to admit; refuse to grant or renew a license, permit, or certificate necessary to engage in any activity, occupation, or profession; or otherwise discriminate against any person because of a conviction or arrest record expunged or sealed.” A person may only be questioned in job applications about previous criminal records if expunged convictions or arrests are excluded: “Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime that has not been expunged by a court?”.
For employers unable to see expunged criminal records who are sued for negligent hiring or negligent retention, the new law provides that “an order of expungement may be introduced as evidence of the person’s exercise of due care in hiring, retaining, licensing, certifying, admitting to a school or program, or otherwise transacting business or engaging in activity with the person to whom the order of expungement was issued.” However, expunged convictions are “not admissible as evidence in an action for negligent hiring, admission, or licensure against a person or entity who relied on the order.”
As reported previously by ESR News, as of July 1, 2012 a new law, Indiana House Bill 1033, restricted criminal history reporting in background checks by prohibiting certain inquiries, restricting the criminal history information employers and background check report providers – also called “Consumer Reporting Agencies” (CRAs) – could obtain from Indiana state court clerks, and restricting the types of criminal history information that CRAs could report to employers in background check reports. The full text of the law is available at: http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2012/HE/HE1033.1.html.
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