What Can My Prospective Employer Inquire About When Conducting A Background Check?

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Background checks in California have continued to be a dynamic part of the hiring process. However, most of these checks conducted don’t relate to the position an applicant is applying for. For this reason, applicants are allowed to make legal claims if the prospective employers discriminate or argue about the information obtained from the background checks. But the question remains, “what dictates the employer decisions to reject job applicants with criminal records?” The answer to this question relies on what the employer can use to defend a claim against the employee because they cannot perform according to the requirements of a particular position. The fact is that each job and everyone’s record of their criminal history is different. Therefore, it becomes tricky for an applicant to determine whether their criminal record will disqualify them from satisfying a particular job's requirements.

The California Law On Discrimination Against Criminal Records

When hiring, every employer should put emphasis on the importance of understanding the information on California background check laws. With this, the employer can be in a position to treat prospective employees differently when coming up with decisions of whether to hire, promote, dismiss, or even fire without acting against the law. Whether your employer can reject your application based on your background check outcome depends on several things. In most cases, applicants have lied on their resumes. Thus, to avoid negligent hiring, the employer must conduct the background checks to ensure the applicant is who he/she claims to be. For an employer to ensure he/she is not acting against the law, he/she must:

  • Issue a conditional offer of employment before he/she conducts any background check. This is according to the Ban the Box law. During the initial application process, your prospective employer cannot ask about your past criminal convictions. This means that only after a successful interview can the employer extend the job offer. This is if the applicant passes the employment background check which should be in accordance with the company’s HR policies and the position being applied.
  • Before deciding whether to offer the employment, the employer must conduct a check to ensure that the criminal records or conviction has a direct and adverse relationship with the position being applied.
  • After performing the background check, the employer must give the applicant a written decision as to why he/she was not hired. If the background check comes clear, the applicant obtains the job position.

 To have a better understanding of what may constitute workplace discrimination in California for employees, you may consult an experienced labor employment attorney.

What Your Prospective Employer Need To Know About You.

 If applying for a job, you need to keep in mind that your prospective employer will use their best defense by conducting a background check. It’s against the California law for an employer to discriminate against a prospective employee against an illegal background check. Whether an employer is doing this either by themselves or through a third party, the information will mostly target:

  • Your education records: This is to verify your qualifications and the experience needed for the vacant position.
  • The reason why you left your former company: If you keep on switching jobs, your employer may wonder whether you will stay on when offer employment in the vacant position.
  • Criminal record: It’s through a background check that your employer can be aware of your criminal arrest or conviction records. If a declaration is required for the position being applied, your employer must issue a written consent regarding the criminal record checks.
  • Driving record: This is for the applicant whose job requires one to operate a vehicle. Your prospective employer may check whether you have any previous or pending driving offenses such as a DUI.
  • Workers' compensation records: Your employer can be interested in this information if you have an injury that might interfere with the performance of the duties at hand.
  • Medical history: Your prospective employee is only required to inquire whether your medical history may affect your ability to perform the job position functions. But this shouldn’t be done without an applicant’s permission. If conducted, he/she is supposed to ensure the confidentiality of your medical information.

An Employment Background Check Attorney Can Help

For you to be hired in California, most employers will conduct a background check. This will help them identify any risks from the new hires. Depending on what your employer wants to achieve, your employer may take their time to come up with the right applicant. However, this shouldn’t be a way to discriminate applicants. Again, your employer will be required to provide accurate and up-to date information. If a background check is not conducted in such a manner, an applicant can sue the employer for violation of the law. If you feel that you were unfairly judged as your employer seems to conduct an extremely challenging background check over other applicants for the same job position, look for legal help for guidance on how to protect your rights. For you to file a claim, you may need to have a lawyer who is experienced in local employment laws.