Private background reporting has many problems that unfairly disadvantage job applicants in Georgia. For example, after records have been restricted (expunged) or sealed, some private companies still report the information to employers. Also, instead of ensuring reports are complete and up to date, some companies use outdated commercial databases to provide reports to employers and others. Of course after sealed or incorrect information is reported, it is nearly impossible to “unring the bell’ and most applicants never get the chance to correct or update information before he or she is denied the job. There are thousands of these companies doing business in Georgia and since there is no state registration requirement, it is extremely difficult for someone to correct or update information with one or all of these entities.
HB 328 provides a state remedy when certain private companies fail to either: 1) provide notice to an applicant when they are going to report negative information to an employer, or 2) check with the courthouse before reporting the information.
HB 328 does not require state registration or ensure that restricted and sealed records will not be reported by these private companies. By allowing notice to the applicant to be sufficient when reporting negative information to employers, Georgia employers will continue to make hiring decisions using outdated or inaccurate information.