Employment Background Check in California – What Can Employers Find Out about You and What Are Your Rights?
Did you know that about half of the resumes applicants hand in consist of false details? Companies and businesses are fully aware of it, and as a result, the process of employment background check in California is becoming more and more common. Therefore, as a potential employee, you should know what your rights are in order to protect your privacy.
Federal laws imposing limits on employment background check
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) from 1970 is a federal law that applies to the entire United States. It obligates employers to notify an employee prior to checking his background and acquire his (the employee’s) explicit consent.
California Information Privacy Act (CIPA)
CIPA extends the obligations imposed on employers even further. Accordingly, if an employer conducts a background check in California on one of his workers or on a job applicant, the latter must be given a copy containing the results of the check no later than 3 days from the moment they had been received.
If a third company is performing the check, the employee must be informed about it and be given full access to the results.
Two things you should know regarding CIPA
1) If an employer violates his or her CIPA obligations, you may press charges. It is advisable to consult an attorney.
1) In case a background check is conducted on suspicion of misconduct, the rules of CIPA do not apply; that is, the employer does not have to inform his worker about the check nor does he need to get his consent.
What kind of information can an employer access?
Employers can investigate quite a lot about you. However, that does not mean they can have full access to your past life. The following shows what an employment background check in California may reveal about you:
1) Criminal history – Employers can gain access to California arrest records that ended in convictions. In some cases arrest records can be accessed if the applicant is on pending trial.
Criminal records older than 7 years cannot be seen. When it comes to marijuana convictions, it is 2 years. Juvenile criminal records are completely sealed.
2) Credit reports – Only credit records from the last 7 years are available for inspection. Public records dealing with bankruptcy can be seen only if they have been issued in the last 10 years.
3) Medical history – As a rule of thumb, employers can extract details on your medical condition provided that they are relevant to the type of work you are going to do. The California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act and the federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act make sure your medical history(mental illnesses in particular) remains confidential.
4) Education records– Employers cannot view your school records without your authorization. However, they can find out whether you attended the academic institutions you have mentioned in your resume by simply turning to these institutions.
5) Military background– Employers can inquire about your rank, awards or salary without your approval.
Preempt your potential employer and find out if you have something in your past that should concern you
To find out if there are some unresolved issues in your past that might ruin your chances of landing the job you want before your future employer discovers it, we recommend using the background check tool offered by californiacriminalrecords.org. It will reveal your criminal history (arrest records, police records, past convictions) as well as civil data. Results are highly accurate as they are derived from multiple private and public databases. Your confidentiality is guaranteed.