The State Court Administrative Office of Michigan introduced a new rule in an effort to reduce identity theft, that would result in the redaction of dates of birth in court records. The rule is set to take effect on January 1, 2022. On October 5, 2021 House Bill 5368 was introduced by the Michigan House of Representatives. The House Bill 5368 addresses the concerns of Michigan's public safety if background providers are unable to report accurate criminal background check information to employers.
What Effects Will This Court Rule Have?
This rule will effect the entire background check process, which would cause the following:
- Issues identifying persons with common names
- Trouble confirming records
- Delay in hiring
Michigan State Representative Graham Filler stated in a post on the Michigan House Republicans website, "[it] would make it next to impossible for background check companies to do their jobs."
Consumer reporting agencies such as background screening companies are regulated by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. This act requires background screening providers to match certain personal information such as date of birth to identify the person that is under evaluation. If personal information like date of birth cannot be matched, then a report cannot be produced.
The Professional Background Association (PBSA) has expressed concern regarding the new rule and how it will impact employers, consumers, the economy, and Michigan court clerks who do not have the resources to implement the rule. The State Court Administrative Office has suggested alternatives for background providers to get around the rule; ICHAT is one of the alternatives suggested. ICHAT is a database that stores police records for certain types of offenses that require a warrant for fingerprinting. PBSA expressed in a posting on their website a list of why ICHAT is not a viable alternative for background providers to use in order to get information that is needed.
Healthcare Industry Concerns
Michigan employers, especially those in the healthcare industry, have expressed concern regarding the proposed rule. Dominick Pallone the Executive Director for the Michigan Association of Health Plans stated in a posting from the Michigan House Republicans website, "Having access to court information is necessary to ensure the accuracy of criminal background checks on individuals who wish to provide services and support to health plan enrollees."
The healthcare industry has a responsibility and obligation to protect its patients that are vulnerable. If inaccurate criminal background checks are being provided and assessed during the hiring process, the information could compromise the safety of patients and staff.
What's Next For Michigan?
Michigan State Representative Graham Filler plan's to fight for the safety of Michiganders. Fillers plan is to push House Bill 5368 so Michigan court documents require personal identifiers, including the date of birth of defendants. The information of other individuals involved in the court case would not be included in the court documents, only the defendants. PBSA is also continuing to work with Michigan officials and courts to find a functional and effective solution to this issue. If changes to the rule or the House Bill 5368 are not enacted, Michigan's background checks will no longer be reliable for accurate information.
Schedule a call to learn how Orange Tree can help ensure your screening process is compliant with accurate criminal background information.