Can I Run a Background Check on an Existing Employee in California?

Understand California's laws and regulations regarding background checks on existing employees. Learn about applicants' rights and employer responsibilities.

Can I Run a Background Check on an Existing Employee in California?

Employers in California are allowed to conduct background checks on existing employees and job applicants, but there are laws that regulate when and how to do so. It is important for employers to understand the legal limitations set out in the regulations and to have a background check policy in place to ensure consistency and avoid breaking the law. The California Fair Opportunity Act requires employers to evaluate whether an applicant should continue to receive the position if the background check is not correct, taking into account the seriousness of the crime and the nature of the crime. Employers must also keep the position vacant for five business days so that the candidate has time to respond to the notice prior to any adverse action.

When conducting a background check, employers can ask iprospectcheck for a pre-employment background check that includes personalized information. People with claims under the Fair Opportunity Act can file a complaint for the department to investigate, or they can get immediate notice of the right to sue. If employers decide to conduct a background check on an existing employee suspected of having committed a crime or misconduct, they do not need to receive leave or give notice. However, this exception should not be abused.

When it comes to driving positions, such as truck driver positions, employers are likely to have their driving background checked. Employers may condition the job offer on the applicant passing the background check. The California Department of Justice fingerprint background check can take seven days or longer, not including the time it takes for the applicant to obtain a fingerprint scan from a Live Scan operator. Working with a qualified CRA, such as Checkr, can simplify compliance with the legal requirements matrix. It is important for employers to understand local, state, and federal laws related to background checks in order to make fair and informed hiring decisions and increase their workforce.

Taking the time to understand these laws can help employers avoid any potential legal issues.