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New Hampshire Background Check Laws

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New Hampshire Employment Screening laws

Employers that are either located in New Hampshire or hiring New Hampshire residents must abide by the Federal FCRA, and applicable New Hampshire state employment laws.

This page was created to provide a simple explanation of what an end-user of a background screening report (also known as consumer report) can use in order to be in compliance with New Hampshire state laws. This page also contains steps an end-user must take to stay in compliance with New Hampshire state laws.

Please keep in mind that the EEOC must always be taken into consideration when a hiring decision is to be made. The EEOC has provided guidance on how employers can use criminal records during the hiring process. This regulation was issued on April 25, 2012. The EEOC requires employers to individually review each applicant or employee that may be disqualified due to a criminal record. This also follows the regulations set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, the EEOC wants to undertake an adverse action process similar to that of the FCRA. They want to add a pre-adverse action process of their own. Although employers already have an adverse action process that is specific to information contained in consumer reports, the EEOC's adverse action process may be different.

The information that is provided on this page does not discuss requirements under the EEOC nor does it explain how to use criminal records that fall under the regulation of the EEOC. It is suggested that compliance with the EEOC be discussed with legal counsel.

For more detailed information on New Hampshire state laws, please consult your legal counsel.

Background Check Law Ban the Box Law Court Fee Summary of Rights

Employment Background Check Laws In New Hampshire:

New Hampshire Revised Statutes §359-B:5. Obsolete Information.

I. Except as authorized under paragraph II, no consumer reporting agency may make any consumer report containing any of the following items of information:

(a) Bankruptcies which, from date of adjudication of the most recent bankruptcy, antedate the report by more than 10 years.

(b) Suits and judgments which, from date of entry, antedate the report by more than 7 years or until the governing statute of limitations has expired, whichever is the longer period.

(c) Paid tax liens which, from date of payment, antedate the report by more than 7 years.

(d) Accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss which antedate the report by more than 7 years.

(e) Records of arrest, indictment, or conviction of crime which, from date of disposition, release, or parole, antedate the report by more than 7 years.

(f) Any other adverse item of information which antedates the report by more than 7 years.

II. The provisions of paragraph I are not applicable in the case of any consumer credit report to be used in connection with:

(a) A credit transaction involving, or which may reasonably be expected to involve, a principal amount of $50,000 or more;

(b) The underwriting of life insurance involving, or which may reasonably be expected to involve, a face amount of $50,000 or more; or

(c) The employment of any individual at an annual salary which equals, or which may reasonably be expected to equal, $20,000 or more.

Ninja's summary

Consumer reporting agencies may only report records of arrests, or records of convictions, that occurred within the last 7 years. Consumer reporting agencies may not report records that antedate the report by more than 7 years.

New Hampshire Statutes § 651:5(x)(c). Annulment of Criminal Records.

I. Except as provided in paragraphs V-VIII, the record of arrest, conviction and sentence of any person may be annulled by the sentencing court at any time in response to a petition for annulment which is timely brought in accordance with the provisions of this section if in the opinion of the court, the annulment will assist in the petitioner’s rehabilitation and will be consistent with the public welfare. The court may grant or deny an annulment without a hearing, unless a hearing is requested by the petitioner.

II. Any person whose arrest has resulted in a finding of not guilty, or whose case was dismissed or not prosecuted, may petition for annulment of the arrest record or court record, or both, at any time in accordance with the provisions of this section.

III. Except as provided in RSA 265-A:21 or in paragraphs V and VI, any person convicted of an offense may petition for annulment of the record of arrest, conviction, and sentence when the petitioner has completed all the terms and conditions of the sentence and has thereafter been convicted of no other crime, except a motor vehicle offense classified as a violation other than driving while intoxicated under RSA 265-A:2, I, RSA 265:82, or RSA 265:82-a for a period of time as follows:

(a) For a violation, one year, unless the underlying conviction was for an offense specified under RSA 259:39.

(b) For a class B misdemeanor except as provided in subparagraph (f), 3 years.

(c) For a class A misdemeanor except as provided in subparagraph (f), 3 years.

(d) For a class B felony except as provided in subparagraph (g), 5 years.

(e) For a class A felony, 10 years.

(f) For sexual assault under RSA 632-A:4, 10 years.

(g) For felony indecent exposure or lewdness under RSA 645:1, II, 10 years.

IV. If a petition for annulment is denied, no further petition shall be brought more frequently than every 3 years thereafter.

V. No petition shall be brought and no annulment granted in the case of any violent crime, of any crime of obstruction of justice, or of any offense for which the petitioner was sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment under RSA 651:6.

VI. If a person has been convicted of more than one offense, no petition for annulment shall be brought and no annulment granted:

(a) If annulment of any part of the record is barred under paragraph V; or

(b) Until the time requirements under paragraphs III and IV for all offenses of record have been met.

VI-a. A conviction for an offense committed under the laws of another state which would not be considered an offense under New Hampshire law, shall not count as a conviction for the purpose of obtaining an annulment under this section.

VII. If, prior to disposition by the court of a petition for annulment, the petitioner is charged with an offense conviction for which would bar such annulment under paragraph V or VI(a) or would extend the time requirements under paragraphs
III, IV and VI(b), the petition shall not be acted upon until the charge is disposed.

VIII. Any petition for annulment which does not meet the requirements of paragraphs III-VI shall be dismissed without a hearing.

IX. When a petition for annulment is timely brought, the court shall require the department of corrections to report to the court concerning any state or federal convictions, arrests or prosecutions of the petitioner and any other information which the court believes may aid in making a determination on the petition. The department shall charge the petitioner a fee of $100 to cover the cost of such investigation unless the petitioner demonstrates that he or she is indigent, or has been found not guilty, or the case has been dismissed or not prosecuted in accordance with paragraph II. The department of safety shall charge the successful petitioner a fee of $100 for researching and correcting the criminal history record accordingly, unless the petitioner demonstrates that he or she is indigent, or has been found not guilty, or the case has been dismissed or not prosecuted in accordance with paragraph II. The court shall provide a copy of the petition to the prosecutor of the underlying offense and permit them to be heard regarding the interest of justice in regard to the petition.

X. Upon entry of an order of annulment:

(a) The person whose record is annulled shall be treated in all respects as if he had never been arrested, convicted or sentenced, except that, upon conviction of any crime committed after the order of annulment has been entered, the prior conviction may be considered by the court in determining the sentence to be imposed, and may be counted toward habitual offender status under RSA 259:39.

(b) The court shall issue the person a certificate stating that such person’s behavior after the conviction has warranted the issuance of the order, and that its effect is to annul the record of arrest, conviction and sentence, and shall notify the state police criminal records unit and the arresting agency.

(c) In any application for employment, license or other civil right or privilege, or in any appearance as a witness in any proceeding or hearing, a person may be questioned about a previous criminal record only in terms such as “Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime that has not been annulled by a court?”
XI. Nothing in this section shall affect any right:

(a) Of the person whose record has been annulled to appeal from the conviction or sentence or to rely on it in bar of any subsequent proceedings for the same offense; or

(b) Of law enforcement officers to maintain arrest and conviction records and to communicate information regarding the annulled record of arrest or conviction to other law enforcement officers for legitimate investigative purposes or in defense of any civil suit arising out of the facts of the arrest, or to the police standards and training council solely for the purpose of assisting the council in determining the fitness of an individual to serve as a law enforcement officer, in any of which cases such information shall not be disclosed to any other person.

XII. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if, during the life of another who has had a record of arrest or conviction annulled pursuant to this section, he or she, having knowledge of the annulment, knowingly discloses or communicates the existence of such record except as provided in subparagraph XI(b) and paragraphs XVI-XVII.

XIII. As used in this section, “violent crime” means:

(a) Capital murder, first or second degree murder, manslaughter, or class A felony negligent homicide under RSA 630;

(b) First degree assault under RSA 631:1;

(c) Aggravated felonious sexual assault or felonious sexual assault under RSA 632-A;

(d) Kidnapping or criminal restraint under RSA 633;

(e) Class A felony arson under RSA 634:1;

(f) Robbery under RSA 636;

(g) Incest under RSA 639:2, III or endangering the welfare of a child by solicitation under RSA 639:3, III; or

(h) Any felonious child pornography offense under RSA 649-A.

XIV. As used in this section, “crime of obstruction of justice” means:

(a) Tampering with witnesses or informants under RSA 641:5 or falsifying evidence under RSA 641:6; or

(b) Any felonious offense of obstructing governmental operations under RSA 642.
XV. A petition for annulment of any record of arrest, conviction, and sentence authorized by this section may be brought in the supreme court with respect to any such record in the supreme court, provided that no record in the supreme court relating to an opinion published in the New Hampshire Reports may be annulled.
XVI. A journalist or reporter shall not be subject to civil or criminal penalties for publishing or broadcasting:

(a) That a person had a criminal record that has been annulled, including the content of that record.

(b) That a person has a criminal record, including the content of such record, without reporting that the record has been annulled, if the journalist or reporter does not have knowledge of the annulment.

XVII. No person or entity, whether public or private, shall be subject to civil or criminal penalties for not removing from public access or making corrections to a report or statement that a person has a criminal record, including the content of such record, if thereafter the criminal record was annulled. This provision shall apply to any report or statement, regardless of its format.

Ninja's summary

An employer may only ask an applicant: “Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime that has not been annulled by a Court?”

Update: Feb 2018

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA):

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a set of federal guidelines that helps regulate hiring practices. The FCRA was created to ensure privacy, accuracy, and fairness of consumer information. The FCRA accomplishes this by having a set standard for collecting, disseminating, and using consumer information.

Employers obtaining consumer reports for background screening purposes must follow specific procedures. For example, employers must disclose to the candidate what the background screening is, what information it includes, and how they intend to use it. They must obtain the written consent of the candidate before obtaining a background screening. They may not misuse the information contained in the background screening. There are also strict procedures an employer must follow should they decide not to hire a potential candidate based on the information in the background screening.

The purpose of the FCRA is to help protect employers, employees, and potential job candidates.

Disclaimer

This material is time sensitive. Contact us for updates. This information is subject to frequent change through legislative and court action.

All materials in this page and accompanying information are for general educational purposes and not intended to provide legal, scientific or medical advice. Consult with an appropriate professional to address specific issues.

No additional “Ban the Box” state or local laws to consider. Please keep in mind that laws are always changing, and we recommend that you seek legal counsel for the most up-to-date legal information.


Update: Feb 2018

Disclaimer

This material is time sensitive. Contact us for updates. This information is subject to frequent change through legislative and court action.

All materials in this page and accompanying information are for general educational purposes and not intended to provide legal, scientific or medical advice. Consult with an appropriate professional to address specific issues.

County: Court Fee:
Belknap $20.00
Carroll $20.00
Cheshire $20.00
Coos $20.00
Grafton $20.00
Hillsborough $20.00
Merrimack $20.00
Rockingham $20.00
Strafford $20.00
Sullivan $20.00

New Hampshire Consumers Have the Right to a Security Freeze

You have a right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report pursuant to RSA 359-B:24. Under New Hampshire law, what is commonly known as a credit report is referred to as a “consumer report.” A security freeze will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing any information in your consumer report without your express authorization. The security freeze must be requested in writing, by certified mail.

You may obtain a security freeze on your consumer report at no charge if you are a victim of identity theft and you submit a copy of the police report, investigative report, or complaint that you filed with a law enforcement agency about unlawful use of your personal information by another person.

The consumer reporting agency may charge you a fee for the security freeze if you are not a victim of identity theft.

The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gains access to the personal and financial information in your consumer report may delay, interfere with , or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, insurance, government services or payments, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular phone, utilities, digital signature, Internet credit card transaction, or other services, including an extension of credit at point of sale.

When you place a security freeze on your consumer report, within 10 business days you will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to remove the freeze on your consumer report or authorize the release of your consumer report for a specific party or period of time after the freeze is in place. To provide that authorization you must contact the consumer reporting agency and provide all of the following:

  1. The unique personal identification number or password provided by the consumer reporting agency;
  2. Proper identification to verify your identity;
  3. The proper information regarding the third party who receive the credit report or the period of time for which the report shall be available to users of the credit report; and
  4. Payment of the applicable fee, if any.

A consumer reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to lift temporarily a freeze on a consumer report must comply with the request no later than 3 business days after receiving the request. A security freeze does not apply to a person or entity, or its affiliates, or collection agencies acting on behalf of the person or entity, with which you have an existing account that requests information in your consumer report for the purposes of reviewing or collecting the accounts, provided the use of your credit report is for a permissible purpose as provided by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Reviewing the account includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.

You have a right to bring civil action against anyone who violates your rights under the credit reporting laws.

KEY COURT DECISIONS
Court Case Issue Outcome Employer Limitation/ Action

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