Clean Slate laws impact the entire background check industry and Checkr has solutions to support successful implementation.
A growing number of US states are passing record clearance laws, and Clean Slate laws have started to take effect in states like Michigan and California. In this post, we'll cover how this legislation can impact your organization.
What is Clean Slate?
Clean Slate laws require courts to automatically remove eligible records from a person’s criminal history, after they have completed their sentence, finalized post-sentence requirements such as parole, and gone a set period of time without reoffending. Certain serious felonies are excepted from Clean Slate.
Checkr is a proud supporter of implementable Clean Slate legislation, as it aligns with our fair chance mission. Learn more about the details of Clean Slate laws in our Understanding Criminal Record Clearance Laws blog post.
What we've learned so far
Clean Slate laws have been implemented in 5 states so far, including Utah, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and most recently Michigan. The impact on screenings has varied across each state, as existing technology and resources influence the impact, and states operate independently of each other.
Implementation is not always straightforward, and we’ve found most recently the impact of implementing these initiatives to be disruptive to a few key jurisdictions in Michigan. Starting in April 2023, Michigan's implementation of their Clean Slate law caused several county courts across the state to temporarily become inaccessible – the courts removed public access to criminal records. This was for the purpose of manually identifying and removing past cases that might be eligible for expungement. As a result, for several weeks the criminal records in certain Michigan counties were inaccessible for all background check providers, causing significant delays in processing of background check reports across the industry.
The majority of Michigan counties are now accessible again for background check orders, albeit in some counties with more limited data. States including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Vermont, Colorado, Virginia, and Minnesota have also passed Clean Slate laws, and we are closely following their upcoming implementation.
It’s important to understand that any Clean Slate implementation issues in individual states and counties will impact all background check providers, not just Checkr.
While there will likely be delays or data limitations as individual states and counties implement Clean Slate legislation, Checkr is thinking ahead to mitigate those possible issues, and has innovated to build special solutions for such eventualities.
How Checkr is preparing for implementation
From evolving our product to create solutions for court closures and limited access to data, to working with cross-functional teams to address these issues in a holistic manner, Checkr is prepared to support not only Clean Slate laws across the United States, but to also support our customers in their background check needs.
- Our Public Policy team is evaluating the possibility of additional disruptions, including in California. We are having Department Of Justice, legislative and Governor-level conversations, and visits to California courthouses to understand how to best address these changes.
- Our Legal team is monitoring developments as additional states consider Clean Slate laws and set timelines for implementation.
- Our Product, Data and Operations teams are continuing to develop solutions for state and county-level data limitations.
Our product solutions
Checkr has created tools to mitigate any data limitations that states and counties may experience as they implement Clean Slate laws.
Skip Inaccessible States and Counties: This feature allows customers who opt-in to skip jurisdictions that temporarily become inaccessible during Clean Slate implementation. The solution is configurable based on each customer’s background check needs and risk tolerance.
Follow-Up Reports: This feature allows customers to automatically or manually re-run reports when all jurisdictions are accessible.
We're ready to help
Checkr offers a variety of solutions to meet your hiring needs, even through a challenging time of changes in the legislative landscape in individual states and counties. Reach out to our support team to explore Checkr resources for navigating the implementation of Clean Slate laws across the US. We will continue to partner closely with customers and prospects as these initiatives are implemented in many states, and will continue our commitment to fair chance hiring.
Learn more about Clean Slate initiatives here.
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Nothing in Checkr’s Blog should be construed as legal advice, guidance, or counsel. Companies should consult their own legal counsel about their compliance responsibilities under the FCRA and applicable state and local laws. Checkr expressly disclaims any warranties or responsibility or damages associated with or arising out of information provided.