New Ruling Poses Challenges in Los Angeles County Background Screenings

New ruling prohibits the use of DOBs when requesting court records.

A recent ruling by the Superior Court of California has significantly complicated the process of conducting background checks in Los Angeles (LA) County. The challenge lies particularly in confidently identifying individuals within court records. 

Traditionally, background screeners have leaned on personally identifiable information (PII), with birthdates serving as a crucial identifier. However, the new ruling prohibits the use of dates of birth (DOBs - specifically month and year) when requesting court records, introducing a major obstacle in the screening process.

Imagine Trying to Identify ‘John Smith’ Without Using a DOB to Help Narrow the Search

Background screeners now have increased difficulty in accurately matching individuals to their records, especially in cases involving common names. Without the ability to use DOB information, the risk of misidentification rises significantly. This not only complicates the verification process but may also extend the time required to complete background checks. 

Additionally, the inability to swiftly and confidently identify records could potentially lead to legal liabilities and reputational damage for employers, should errors occur. The new restrictions demand solutions and adjustments in screening methodologies to help maintain the integrity and reliability of background checks in an already complex regulatory environment, without adding additional burdens to background screeners.

Solutions to Help with New Challenges: Equifax’s Court Research Solutions

CourtSmart™ can help background screeners address challenges in lieu of the ability to use PII when requesting court records. Leveraging proprietary non-reportable data to provide “data on data”, the solution excels in jurisdictions where court record identifiers are limited or redacted, like LA County. 

With CourtSmart, background screeners can check against additional non-reportable data points to increase confidence when reviewing retrieved court information. This may provide additional context regarding court record information to help resolve more complex cases but can also reduce costs related to on-site runner and case copy services.

Smart Screen™ - TalentCheck enables background screeners to run an alternative solution to  court research for a significant portion of cases. By pre-screening applicants against Equifax’s extensive databases, background screeners can more easily identify where court research may or may not be needed, concentrating court research efforts only where necessary.

The DOB Restriction in LA County Poses a Unique Challenge to Background Screeners

However, with solutions like Equifax’s CourtSmart and Smart Screen - TalentCheck, background screeners can navigate these challenges more effectively. Advanced data solutions like these can help ensure greater confidence in background checks, reduce operational costs, and help background screeners with local screening regulations.