Advocacy News – October 7, 2021
The Michigan Supreme Court will no longer allow date of birth and other personal identifying information (PII) to be part of publicly accessible records beginning Jan. 1, 2022. With it comes challenges for employers and who rely on background checks as part of the hiring process, among other things.
In May of 2019, the Michigan Supreme Court issued rules that, when implemented on Jan. 1, 2022, generally would prohibit Michigan courts from releasing PII on court records. The rules define PII to include date of birth, social security number, national identification number, driver’s license number and other PII.
Because consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) use PII to confirm the identities of subjects of records and comply with verification standards set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), this change could impact the ability of background check companies to provide timely and accurate release of background check information to employers in Michigan.
Background checks are a critical component of employment and rental processes. Without a date of birth or PII, background check companies are usually unable to determine whether a record belongs to the candidate being considered. In a small number of cases, a determination could be made but only after additional, extreme efforts are made. This is not feasible for most cases, and certainly not practical.
The Michigan Chamber is working with the Michigan Legislature to remedy this situation. The legislation we are seeking, introduced by Rep. Graham Filler (R-Dewitt), would require court records to be open to the public without redaction of an individual’s name or date or birth. This would ensure that publicly-available identifying information continues to be available without delay for employment, housing and other background checks.
Please contact Wendy Block if you are seeking additional information on this issue or would like to get involved. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.