ESA Joins Effort to Protect Background Checks in California

ESA Joins Effort to Protect Background Checks in California
Jillian Bateman — July 26, 2021

ESA has joined with 20 trade associations and organizations in an amicus (friend of the court) letter to the California Supreme Court urging it to reverse a lower court ruling that could have a devastating impact on the ability of employers to conduct criminal background checks on prospective employees. The Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) and the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) submitted the letter on July 15, 2021 requesting an emergency ruling by the Supreme Court because the lower court ruling “is about to precipitate an utter disaster in nearly every sector of the California economy”, which is outlined in detail in the letter to the court.

The Court of Appeals ruled that prohibitions against displaying date of birth and driver license identifiers on certain documents includes a prohibition against using these identifiers as filters in searching for criminal records. The ruling would undermine the ability to conduct any meaningful criminal background check for legitimate purposes when unique identifiers like date of birth and driver license numbers are needed to filter searches. The lower court ruling would impact nearly every segment of the economy where criminal background checks are used to protect consumers.

All electronic security and life safety companies that use criminal background checks, authorized by the prospective employees, and where provided for by law, will be negatively impacted if this appeal court ruling stands. The amicus letter seeks a simple reversal of the erroneous interpretation by the Appeal Court and restore the court rule as previously interpreted.

There is no date by which the court will accept or reject the request to consider this matter. The original 20 organizations that joined this amicus letter included:

· California Bankers Association

· California Chamber of Commerce

· California Credit Union League

· California Financial Services Association

· Checkr, Inc.

· Coalition for Sensible Public Records Access

· Electronic Security Association

· Lyft, Inc.

· Moco Incorporated

· National Consumer Reporting, Association

· National Public Records Research Association

· Public Records Retrieval Network

· Security Industry Association

· Southern California Rental Housing Association

· Sue Weaver CAUSE: Commit to Always Using Screened Employees

· The Monitoring Association

· Tribal Gaming

· Protection Network

· Uber Technologies, Inc.

· Vector Security, Inc.

· Western Burglar Alarm and Fire Alarm Association

ESA will provide updates as they become available.