Background Checks in California—What is an Employer Permitted to do?

While an employer may want an employee to “think outside the box,” California’s has adopted a “ban-the-box” approach to candidates for a job in both the public and private sectors. Indeed, the legislature amended California’s Fair Housing and Employment Act to make it illegal for employers to ask about a candidate’s criminal history at the beginning of the application process. Instead, such questions may only be raised once a conditional offer of employment has been made.

Instead of deciding your fate just because you had a criminal record, a candidate’s skills and experience are brought to the forefront in making a hiring decision.

In addition, SB 1412 amended section 432.7 of California’s Labor Code to allow inquiries about “particular conviction” that is related to the position sought. And these inquiries are only permitted when:

  • The employer is required by law to obtain information regarding this “particular conviction”;
  • Firearm use and possession will be a part of the candidate’s occupation;
  • The law prevents someone with such a prior conviction from holding the applied-for position; and
  • The employer is barred from hiring an applicant with the “particular conviction.”

Attorneys familiar with Employment Background Check California are well-versed in these, and other requirements and, as such, can help you if these rights are violated.

Also, according to Labor Code 1024.5, California employers may only order credit reports as part of a background check when seeking to hire for certain positions including:

  • A managerial position, as defined in California Wage Order 4;
  • A position in the California State Department of Justice;
  • A peace officer or law enforcement position;
  • If, by law, the position requires the consideration of credit history;
  • When the candidate would have regular access to a bank, credit card, social security numbers and dates of birth;
  • Where the candidate would be named as a signatory on financial accounts;
  • If the candidate will be given proprietary or confidential information; or
  • The position provides the candidate with access to cash at or greater than $10,000.

Again these are issues that can be addressed by attorneys experienced with Employment Background Check California.

So how do you select the best attorney to protect your rights in this area?

Personal referrals tend to be the best way to find a good attorney. However, online services, lawyer directories, business, and other attorney referral services, local chambers of commerce, and other local groups are available to help you find quality representation. And make sure the attorney you hire is a specialist in Employment Background Check California, makes you feel comfortable in an interview and will present well to a judge or jury, and to opposing counsel, should your claim get that far.

Also, make sure the attorney is punctual and has a reputation for communicating with clients.

If you satisfy all of the above, any claim regarding background checks should be handled competently and lead to a positive outcome.

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