If this headline sounds like déjà vu all over again, we have blogged on this law several times, most recently here. The latest changes to the Indiana “Second Chance” law went into effect on July 1, 2013, and were brought about by Indiana House Enrolled Act No. 1482 (the “Act”), and signed into law by Governor Mike Pence in May 2013. The new law applies to both Indiana-based employers as well as employers who hire workers in the State of Indiana. In addition to outlining the conditions and process by which ex-offenders can request the expungement or sealing of records, the law also has a direct impact on which criminal records employers can and cannot consider in the background screening process. Here are some highlights:
Section 10 of the Act makes it unlawful for any person to refuse to employ, or to otherwise discriminate against, any person because of a conviction or arrest record expunged or sealed under the law. Violation of this section is a Class C infraction and can lead to a contempt order as well as injunctive relief.
Any inquiry into an applicant’s criminal past on a job application must seek such information only in terms that exclude expunged convictions or arrests. The statute suggests the following wording: “Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime that has not been expunged by a court?”