New Expungement Law Delays Michigan Background Checks
October 16, 2023
Michigan drivers working for a major ride-share service company have recently faced challenges trying to work. This complication is because the company has struggled with significant delays in background checks. According to the company, it conducts annual screenings on its drivers to ensure they may continue working.
However, Michigan’s new Clean Slate Law has incited delays. This law has caused a backup in the court systems that make background checks go through. The Clean Slate Law took effect in April, expunging thousands of criminal records for eligible Michigan residents.
How the Law Would Work
The law meant to improve education, employment, and housing opportunities for individuals with eligible offenses. However, it applies only to those who have remained crime-free for the required period. The waiting period for eligible misdemeanors is seven years, and for eligible felonies is ten.
Lawmakers expect this law to help many Michigan residents expunge their past offenses. Statistics revealed that over one million residents should benefit from the automatic expungements. However, those who do not qualify can still remove their records. They must use the traditional expungement process if they meet the requirements.
In some counties, the public has lost access to online court records since the law took effect. As such, individuals and companies have struggled to search for relevant court documents. The courts explained that removing access to the public record searches helped the court systems. This removal prevented private information from leaking to the public while court employees reviewed thousands of cases to determine which qualified for the new law.
As such, the clerk’s office will process any requested records while the cases undergo review. They have acknowledged the inconvenience this may cause and stated their appreciation for everyone’s continued patience. Unfortunately, they have not set a date for when they will finish reviewing eligible cases. This uncertainty means it remains unclear when the public will reaccess the public search system.
Not all businesses have had difficulty conducting background checks. However, larger companies requiring more background checks may struggle to meet the demand. Closing access to these searches could also have devastating consequences for workers depending on these background checks.
This issue clearly illustrates the importance of fast and accurate background checks for employment. Employers should consider working with a trustworthy background screening provider to mitigate the stress. The right provider will use their experience to provide a streamlined solution that meets employers’ growing needs. The vendor will also consistently deliver compliant and accurate reports to ensure companies make educated hiring decisions.
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