DOB Redaction in Michigan Court Records Makes Background Checks Difficult

Background Screening News

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

“Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders who are looking for work could be facing new challenges in their job hunt” as Michigan courts will redact Dates of Birth (DOBs) when releasing records which will make background checks more difficult, according to a news report from WNEM.com CBS Channel 5 in Saginaw, Michigan.

“Firms performing background checks are facing a new roadblock. The state Supreme Court is ordering dates of birth in court records to be redacted. As of July 1, Michigan will implement court rules removing dates of birth from court records,” WNEM.com reported on the proposed amendments from ADM File No. 2020-26.

“Access to a full date of birth is often a minimum requirement to confirm that a found record matches the job or housing candidate during a background check, practically rendering background checks impossible to perform,” WNEM.com reported. The complete news report about the DOB redaction is available here.

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) – a non-profit trade organization that represents firms performing background checks worldwide – issued a call to action to its members regarding the proposed amendments from the Michigan Supreme Court that will redact the DOB in court records.

The PBSA asked members with clients in Michigan or who completed background checks on individuals who live or have lived in Michigan to contact the Michigan Supreme Court using a sample letter and contact list provided by the PBSA, and to also ask their Michigan customers to write a letter, before the law takes effect.

On June 9, 2021, the PBSA sent a letter to the Michigan Supreme Court about the effect ADM File No. 2020-26 would have: “If implemented, this rule will likely cause a halt in hiring and rental housing placements in Michigan. It is not merely inconvenient; it is set to upend all rental housing and employment decisions in Michigan.”

The letter continued: “Background checks are a critical component of the employment and rental process. Employers, property managers, and consumers alike depend on our members to search public records to determine whether a particular record belongs to a candidate being considered for employment or housing.”

Founded in 2003, the PBSA represents the interest of more than 880 member companies that offer employment and tenant background screening services and is the trusted global authority for the background screening profession. To learn more about the PBSA, visit https://thepbsa.org/.

The PBSA will continue to strengthen the professionalism of background screeners in the United States, according to leading global background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), which compiled the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2021 featuring emerging and influential trends in the industry.

ESR founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Attorney Lester Rosen was on the steering committee that founded the PBSA in 2003 when it was known as the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) before rebranding to a new name in 2019. That year, Rosen received the PBSA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a founding member of the PBSA that was ranked the number one screening firm by HRO Today in 2020 – is accredited by the PBSA by successfully completing the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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