Legal News / CounselOne P.C.

Is an Employment Background Check Lawful

Via: ReleaseWire

Updated 11:48 AM CDT, Thu, April 18,2019

This Press Release discusses the law surrounding employment background checks in the state of California and associated issues.

Beverly Hills, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/18/2019 -- "Surveys show that a majority of employers perform criminal background checks when hiring for at least some positions. It's also common for employers to ask about criminal history on a job application, often ending the process for many applicants before it has begun. Fortunately, job seekers with criminal records have some strong protections under California law."

On January 1, 2018, a ban was put forward with regards to seeking an employment background check in California for potential employees and all current employees in a company. It was referred to as California's ban-the-box law. To enact this law, amendments were made to California's Fair Housing and Employment Act, making it illegal for private and public employers with 5 or more employees to ask about criminal history until the later stage of the application process. The purpose of the law is to encourage employees to assess each applicant's fitness for the job instead of denying employment based on the individual's criminal past.

Several questions arise when it comes to an understanding of the law that has been passed. Some questions may include; what does it mean then to have this law in place for employees who have a criminal record? Is it then illegal for an employer to do a background check on an employee? What rights do I have as an applicant and potential employee when it comes to background checks? According to a CounselOne P.C. attorney, "California employers can run background checks on job applicants; however, the laws in place regulate when and how they run such background checks. In addition, it is necessary for an employer to disclose specific information under the law after running such a background check. The California Fair Chance Act is part of a trend in specific states and localities to pass ban-the-box legislation. The 'box' being referred to is the screening checkbox on job applications asking whether a potential employee has been convicted of a crime. This box in itself is a tool that may stereotype an applicant's ability to have a chance at the position even before the process has begun. Thus the Fair Chance Act has been designed in order to give job applicants that have criminal histories an opportunity to advance further into the application process for the employer to get to know them before the employer is allowed to do a criminal background check."

The next question then is; when is an employer allowed to do a background or criminal check? According to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, an employer is 'prohibited from asking a potential employee about his or her conviction history before making a job offer. Therefore, only after the employer has brought the applicant for an interview and given them a job offer can the employer then be allowed to run a background check'. Also, "an employer can't take back the job offer without considering the nature and gravity of the criminal history, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the nature of the job you are seeking."

About CounselOne P.C.
CounselOne P.C. is a law firm of professionals who specialize in consumer protection and employment law. Their focus is on employment and consumer class actions and is committed to securing what is rightfully due to their clients. For legal advice and representation with regards to unpaid overtime in California contact the CounselOne P.C.

Contact Information:
Company: CounselOne P.C.
Address: 9301 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 650, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: 310-277-9945
Fax: 424-277-3727

For more information on this press release visit:

Media Relations Contact
Anthony Orshansky
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