Indiana’s new criminal expungement statute affects employers’ permitted hiring practices.
Posted by , on December 2, 2014
Last year a new law went into effect in Indiana which allows individuals to expunge certain criminal records. Provided the requisite time has elapsed and the petitioner can establish by clear and convincing evidence that, in the case of a misdemeanor, (1) no charges are pending against the petitioner; (2) the petitioner does not have an existing or pending driver’s license suspension; (3) the petitioner has successfully completed their sentence, including any term of supervised release; and (4) the person has not been convicted of a crime within the previous five years, then the court will be required to order the conviction records described in Indiana Code § 35-38-9 et seq. expunged. One of the several reasons many people have taken advantage of this new law is to remove blemishes on their record which may have been hindering their employment prospects. This new law has other profound effects on the hiring process as well. While it attempts to help open doors for prospective employees that might otherwise be shut due to a criminal record, the new law also ensures that the door remains open by putting restrictions on employers’ actions as they pertain to expunged records. Indiana Code § 35-38-9-10 provides that “[i]t is unlawful discrimination for any person to suspend; expel; refuse to employ; refuse to admit; refuse to grant or renew a license, permit, or certificate necessary to engage in any activity, occupation, or profession; or otherwise discriminate against any person because of a conviction or arrest record expunged or sealed under this chapter.” In addition, the new law even limits the questions an employer is permitted to ask a prospective employee in an interview or on an application for employment. A violation of this statute can result in a Class C infraction and the employer being held in contempt of court.
With the enactment of this new expungement statute employers are encouraged to review their hiring policies and procedures to ensure that they do not run afoul of Section 10. Even asking a prohibited question that was routine prior to July 1, 2013 could result in a violation.
**Reiling Teder & Schrier, LLC is an Indiana Limited Liability Company. The information contained in this website has been prepared by Reiling Teder & Schrier, LLC for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon to make any decision, legal or otherwise. If you have any specific questions or inquiries regarding any of the information contained in this website, you should consult with an attorney licensed in your state. The information contained in this website pertains only to matters of Indiana law and the laws of other states may be completely different from the laws of the State of Indiana.