Courts in the state of Missouri have have proposed a rule that would remove personal identifiers such as Social Security Numbers and Dates of Birth from public records. “Court Operating Rule #2″ is most likely an effort to mitigate the opportunity for identity theft, but there is an unintended consequence that is not being considered. This measure would be an insurmountable set-back to any organization who conducts background checks on potential job candidates. If the courts destroy these records, employers have no way of being assured that they can perform thorough due diligence on their candidates.
There is still plenty of time to influence law makers in Missouri and I am certain that the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) will lead the efforts to educate them. Those that are interested in getting involved can send a letter to Catherine Zacharias, General Counsel, State Judicial Records Committee.
We’ll pass more along information on this as soon as it becomes available.
NAPBS has been very successful educating public officials when similar bills are introduced. See examples below of these efforts. In each instance, the measure was defeated.
New Mexico House Bill 103 Threatens Employment Background Checks
Rhode Island Legislators Approve Bill to Destroy Criminal Records
Massachusetts Proposes Redaction of Personal Identifiers: Bad News for Employment Screening
Oklahoma Supreme Court Reverses Itself on the Removal of Identifiers