Can California Employers Legally Run Background Checks on Current Employees?

California employers are allowed to conduct background checks on their employees and job applicants, but there are certain laws that regulate when and how they can do so. Before taking any adverse action, employers must send a notification to inform candidates of any violations that may lead to a negative hiring decision. The background check will show the dates the candidate worked in each position and the positions they held. The method chosen to complete pre-employment background checks will affect how long it takes to receive the results.

Applicants and employees who feel their employers have violated this law may file discrimination complaints with the California Department of Civil Rights (CRD) and file discrimination claims against their employers to receive compensation for damages. Employers must keep the position vacant for five business days so that the candidate has time to respond to the notification prior to the adverse action. It is essential for employers to understand the local, state, and federal laws that govern background checks in order to avoid breaking the law. California law also requires employers to disclose certain information after conducting a background check.

Working with a qualified CRA, such as Checkr, can simplify tracking the matrix of legal requirements. Without a date of birth, it's harder for background check providers to verify that the criminal record belongs to the right person. The time needed to complete a background check can vary depending on the responsiveness of the employer or school, but generally, it takes less than five days. It is important for employers to review their background check policies and consult with an attorney to ensure they comply with all of the law's individualized evaluation and reporting requirements.

If employees, contractors, or volunteers drive for your company or operate a company vehicle during work hours, your driving record in California may be important to you.

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