Special Report: Employers Worry Michigan’s New Date of Birth Rule Will Put Their Teams and Customers at Risk

Special Report: Employers Worry Michigan’s New Date of Birth Rule Will Put Their Teams and Customers at Risk

By Jennifer Gladstone

It makes sense that Consumer Reporting Agencies are not happy about the new Michigan rule removing dates of birth from criminal records. The more information we have on the person being screened, the more complete their background check will be. 

But what do employers think about the new rule? Will it affect them?

We need every component of the background check completed in order to make an informed decision on a candidate. I can’t stress that enough.

JaCenta Maclin is the Human Resources Operations Supervisor for Compassus, a large home healthcare provider operating in 30 states. 

We are employing the people that are taking care of your families, so anyone in your family that is on hospice care or is having home health for any type of reason, we are employing the nurses, the physical therapists, the occupational therapists that are taking care of them. Patient care is our number one priority every day of the week, no days off. And so, background checks are really what we rely on as like our number one. So, we pride ourselves on being very thorough with our background checks. 

Michigan lawmakers say they made the decision to remove all dates of birth from public-facing criminal records in an effort to protect those in the system from identity theft. But the move has left employers concerned the change will put their clients at risk if they can’t be guaranteed fully accurate background checks on their employees. 

This change will affect employers in every state if they want to be able to hire someone who’s ever lived in Michigan. 

Maclin understands how CRAs use dates of birth to make sure the person with the criminal record is the person they are trying to hire. Lots of names are the same – but a different birthday lets you know you have the wrong person. 

The announcement out of Michigan was an unpleasant surprise.

We’re huge. We’re growing. And if we can’t match date of birth with names like, what do we have to rely on for our patients, for our candidates? It doesn’t seem like a foolproof way to do a background check. Also, dollar signs floated through my head as well, because it’s like how much money are we going to have to spend outside of the normal background check process to make sure that we are fully vetting our candidates? Stuff like this is it makes it hard for you to sleep at night.

The implementation of the new rule has been pushed from July of this year until January 1st, 2022. If you would like to write to lawmakers to voice your concern, please visit ebiinc.com for a list of helpful resources

About the Author

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.

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