background check in California

How to do a background check in California

A Background check in California is most often done during an employment process. In California, there are many rules and regulations that go along with checking a person’s criminal history. The regulations depend on the resources used to obtain the background check.

Third Party Background Checks

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If using a third-party company that specializes in background checks, including criminal or credit, the FCRA requires a few steps beforehand. You must let the applicant know that the information found could affect future employment. It must be in writing, cannot be on an application, and must be clear in intent. If the report also includes lifestyle and character reports, the applicant must be told. They have a right to the information gathered. Once you’ve taken these steps, you must prove that you have done so to the company doing the background check.

In-House Background Checks

California has built on the FCRA and created the (CIPA). If the potential employer does the investigation themselves, they are required to give you the option to receive their findings. The employer must send you the report within three days of receiving it. If there are inaccuracies on the report, correct them and inform the potential employer. If they don’t comply with the FCRA and CIPA, talk to an attorney.

Completion of Background Check

If the employer decides not to hire you based on what they’ve discovered on a background check, they have to take a few steps. They must give you a copy of all of their findings (if they used an outside company) and give you the option to review it. The employer must tell you the exact reason why they were rejected, and then you have the right to dispute it.

One of the exceptions of this rule is if the company conducts an investigation because they believe you’ve engaged in misconduct or illegal activity. If so, CIPA waives your right to consent to the background check.

Recommended Reading:

How to request a copy of your criminal records – The State of California Department of Justice

California inmate search – the CDCR official page