California Background Check Law: What You Need to Know

California employers are allowed to conduct background checks on employees and job applicants, but there are laws that regulate when and how to do so. The California background check law also requires employers to disclose certain information after performing a background check. In this article, we'll look at applicants' rights and employer responsibilities under California background check laws. When you apply for a job, or if you've already been refused a job or promotion, make sure you check the box on your job application, notice of investigation, or notice of adverse action to receive a copy of the background reports about you. After a year of employment, if an employer states they are conducting an audit to check the employees' backgrounds, they must also provide you with a copy of the report.

Background Checks and Discrimination

Background checks are an integral part of the hiring process, but it's important to understand both sides of the story.

Under California law, an employer's criminal record policies or practices are considered discriminatory under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) if they result in a significant difference in the selection rate, hiring, promotion, or other employment decisions that harm a protected class.

When Can Employers Perform Background Checks?

Once an employer takes an applicant for an interview and makes them a job offer, the employer can perform a background check. People who apply for jobs that involve driving, such as truck driver positions, are likely to have their driving background checked. If the employer did the background on their own, however, you didn't check the box to receive all the reports.

What Are Your Rights?

The best option is to request a pre-employment background check from a trusted partner such as iprospectcheck. If the background check is not correct, the California Fair Opportunity Act requires the employer to evaluate whether the applicant should continue to receive work in light of the seriousness of the crime and the nature of the crime (e.g., this law allows people with former convictions to work as home health aides or as caregivers, provided that they meet the requirements and receive an exemption from the Department of Social Services).

An experienced employment lawyer can help you determine if an employer failed to comply with the law governing when and how to consider your criminal record.

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