July 1, 2014, Atlanta, GA A new Georgia law is likely to have an adverse affect on background-screening searches, not limited to criminal and civil searches. Effective July 1, 2014, the new law will reduce identifiers that are found in Georgia Court Records. Although this was done in an effort to safeguard the citizens of Georgia against amassing identity theft, Senate Bill 386 will limit the amount of information that is available via public court records, which will could cause some challenges when conducting employment background screening.
Senate Bill 386 aims to protect the identity and privacy of those who enter Georgia’s court system by requiring that sensitive information be redacted from court filings.
The bill limits access to key identifiers with this clarification:
• When Social Security numbers, taxpayer identification numbers, and/or financial account numbers are included, only the last four digits of any such number may be included in the filing.
• If birthdates are included, only the year of an individual’s birth may be included, and if a minor is identified, only the initials of the minor may be included.
This will make it that much more difficult to link criminal records to applicants, especially if an employer is only utilizing national database searches that require multiple identifiers for reporting purposes. Consumer Reporting Agencies are tasked with providing accurate information that addresses the client’s needs. Falling short of this purpose undermines the quality of the service. The Cedalius Group, however, employs more in-depth, comprehensive, county searches which better match applicants to potential records. These exhaustive measures demonstrate why The Cedalius Group stands out as a trusted provider of employment screenings.
The Cedalius Group offers insight into the background screening industry for educational purposes. We always recommend you consult with your legal counsel to determine practices that best suit your business needs.