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Friday, April 26, 2013

Ind. Law - Another update on the ag-gag bill - SB 373: Restricted access/expungement meets employment application fraud

CCR 373-2 passed the Senate this afternoon, but in the midst of the debate in the House, the CRR (NOT the bill) was pulled. That means the conferees could come back with a new CRR, or another opinion would be for the Senate to withdraw its dissent to the version that passed the House, meaning the bill would be ready for enrollment.

The House version is not an "ag-gag" bill. Instead, it expands the definition of "denied entry" in the trespass law, which now includes a posted notice, oral or written personal communication, or a court order, to include the existence of "a fence, a wall, or other constructed barrier that reasonably implies entry is prohibited."

Additionally the House-passed version includes the change I discussed earlier this afternoon in this post. It would add a new section to IC 35-43-5, a criminal statute which covers "Forgery, Fraud, and Other Deceptions," creating this new crime - "employment application fraud":

Sec. 21. A person who knowingly or intentionally:
(1) submits an application to a prospective employer to secure employment with the prospective employer; and
(2) makes a false statement about a material fact or conceals a material fact in the application in order to secure employment with the prospective employer;
commits employment application fraud, a Class A misdemeanor.
This provision could impact anyone applying for a job.

Ironically, under a statute that is in effect right now, the restricted access law, the General Assembly has enabled job applicants in certain circumstances to lie about their past criminal history. See for example this April 25, 2012 ILB post.

That restricted access law (IC 35-38-5-5.5 and IC 35-38-5) would be repealed by the newly passed expungement law, HEA 1482, effective July 1, providing it is approved by the governor.

If that happens, and if the Senate decides to concur in the House amendments to SB 373, which also would take effect July 1, the result might be that:

On June 30th, a job applicant who has gone through the statutory process to have the access to his past criminal history restricted under the current law could legally say he had no past convictions.

But the next day, on July 1, to do the same would be to commit the new crime of employment application fraud!

[More] What happens to people whose conviction records were restricted under the current law, once HEA 1482, the expungement law, goes into effect? The new expungement law doesn't seem to cover this.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 26, 2013 06:01 PM
Posted to Indiana Law