California Employee Background Checks

California is a jobseeker-friendly state that has implemented state laws in addition to the Fair Credit Reporting Act to help protect the rights of job applicants and employees. As an employer, this might make your job a little trickier when you’re running a background report. As a California based company, has already implemented tools in our system to make your reports California compliant.

  1. Credit: An employer can only request a credit report for the following positions:
  • A position in the state Department of Justice
  • A managerial position
  • A position as a sworn peace officer or other law enforcement job
  • A position for which the information is required by law
  • A position that involves access to specified personal information
  • A position in which the person is a named signatory on the employer’s bank or credit card account
  • A position that involves access to confidential or proprietary information
  • A position that involves regular access to $10,000 or more of cash

Due to the sensitive nature of using credit reports for hiring, A Good Employee requires employers to contact us to order a credit report. If you’re hiring for a job position described above, call 855-361-1667.

  1. Notice: The notice that a background check will be ordered is more extensive. California law requires notice and permission from you “at any time an investigative consumer report is sought for employment purposes other than suspicion of wrongdoing or misconduct.” (CA Civil Code ยง1786.16(2)). In the notice you must include:
    • Purpose and scope of report
    • Name, address, and phone of screening company
    • Summary of Rights: Download this document from your A Good Employee account
    • Check box to get a copy of the report: if checked, the copy must be sent within 3 business days by the employer or the screening company. If you’re using our service, we’ll send out a copy to the applicant upon request.

Register for free with A Good Employee to download a formal notice that fulfills all the notification requirements listed above.

  1. Criminal: Arrests and the formal charges shown in an indictment can only be reported for up to seven years in California, and these records cannot be reported if a conviction did not result. A Good Employee will automatically provide seven years of criminal convictions in a report, making it easy to comply with this requirement.

Also, as an employer you cannot ask about the following:

  • Any arrest or detention that did not result in a conviction.
  • Any arrest for which pretrial diversion has been completed.
  • Criminal records that have been expunged, sealed or dismissed.
  • Public sector employers (California state and local agencies, cities and counties) are prohibited from asking about criminal records on employment applications. Public sector employers must review an applicant’s qualifications before inquiring about their conviction history.

Register for free with A Good Employee to access a job application that fulfills California’s Ban the Box requirements.