With the passage of House Bill 55, Louisiana again regulated employer use of criminal record information for employment purposes. As of August 1, 2014, employers in Louisiana no longer have access to arrest or convictions that have been expunged.
House Bill 55 (Act No. 145) enacted Title XXXIV of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Articles 971 through 995, relating to expungement of criminal records. Under Article 973 of the new law, expunged records of arrests or convictions are considered confidential and are no longer considered part of the public record. The new law also expressly states that “no person whose record of arrest or conviction that has been expunged shall be required to disclose to any person that he was arrested or convicted of the offense, or that the record of the arrest or conviction has been expunged.” As a result, job applicants with expunged records may legally answer “no” in response to employment application questions about expunged arrests or convictions.
Exceptions to the restrictions are:
- Members of law enforcement or criminal justice agencies or prosecutors for the purpose of investigating, prosecuting, or enforcing criminal law, or for other statutory purposes;
- Upon entry of a court order;
- The person whose record has been expunged, or his or her counsel; and
- Members of law enforcement or criminal justice agencies, prosecutors, or judges for the purpose of defending against civil litigation resulting from wrongful arrest, or other civil litigation, and the expunged record is necessary to the defense.
Other exceptions listed in the law include numerous state agencies that license for medical professions and occupations, as well as the Louisiana Department of Insurance, the Office of Financial Institutions, and others. Additional exceptions exist when the expunged records are used for the protection of children or for other law enforcement purposes.
Louisiana also restricts criminal record information about arrests that did not result in a conviction. We continue to monitor legislation in all states and will let you know when similar legislation is passed.
You may view Act No. 145 here: http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=908131