How to Do a Background Check in California

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How to Do a Background Check in California

Are you familiar with the fact that one in three Californians has a criminal history? This makes it a high possibility that the people who are looking to hire someone from California will find them having previous arrests, convictions and other criminal offences. This article has put together ways on how to do a background check in California for you so as to be able to get the best on a California search.

As much as employers are permitted to conduct background checks on potential employees or job applicants, there are however laws that govern when and how to do so.

The California Fair Chance Act

Starting from 2018, the state of California passed the California Fair Chance Act which prevents employers from asking potential employees about their criminal history. The law bans the check box on job applications which calls for applicants to disclose whether they have a criminal record or not.

This resulted in many applicants with criminal history not getting the job. With the Fair Chance Act, applicants with a criminal history stand a chance to progress further in their application. The employer will then get to familiarize themselves with the applicant before they are permitted to perform a background check on them.

Employers are not permitted to withdraw a job offer unless the gravity of the offence is taken into consideration. If the job offer is withdrawn, the employer should notify the applicant in writing letting know the reason behind such a decision. The employer should also enclose a copy of the criminal record they used to come to that conclusion.

Types of Background Checks in California

There are numerous types of background checks that employers may conduct in California. The following are some of the widely conducted ones:

Criminal Background Checks

This is a search whereby the employer search for criminal information on an applicant from national, federal, state and county records.

Criminal background checks in California may reveal felony and misdemeanor convictions, active warrants, pending criminal cases, infractions, history of incarceration, sex offender history, violations of federal criminal law and others.

Consumer reporting agencies usually do not report on non-conviction records such as indictments, non-pending arrests, and misdemeanor complaints.

Civil Court Checks

This is a situation whereby an employer search from records of federal, upper and lower civil courts in order to identify civil disputes and filings of bankruptcy. These are essential for applicants who are looking to take financial and management positions.

Education Verification

An education background check help in verifying if the information on the applicant’s schools attended, dates of attendance and degrees obtained are genuine.

Employment Verification

This is a search whereby the employer checks out the employment history of the applicant to verify its authenticity.

Employment verification checks can reveal details like past employment dates and job titles.

Driving Records Checks

This type of background check provides the driving history of the applicant and proves helpful in determining if the applicant is suitable if the job involves driving.

A search from the Motor Vehicle Reports (MVR) can reveal the driver’s class of the applicant, license status and driving felonies with any misdemeanor convictions like DUI.

Drug Screening

The drug screening check is used to determine if there is any presence of illegal drugs in the system of the applicant. This type of check is most common if the job involves driving, interacting with the public and operating of dangerous equipment.

Recreational and medicinal marijuana are both legal in California. Pre-employment drug tests are conducted in California after an applicant has been given an offer of employment if they pass the test.

Background Check Process in California

A California background check process is initiated when an agency gives an applicant the BCIA 8016 REQUEST FOR LIVE SCAN SERVICE which they complete and take to a live scan operator. The live scan operator records the information of the applicant and send it to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Upon reaching the DOJ, the information is used to search against the database.

If there are no hits, the transaction is technically processed in 48 to 72 hours. If there is a hit, the rap sheet is reviewed by a technician. The process takes time and the applicant agency is notified. Once the DOJ is done will its diligent process, the background check response is then sent to the applicant agency.

Background Check Companies in California

There are certain government and private organizations who are permitted by law in California to perform criminal record background checks. The purpose of this is to determine whether a person is fit for employment, a license or to work with children, the disabled and the elderly on voluntary basis.

There are countless companies that offer background check processes in California. These are companies who can serve small, medium and large businesses who are looking to screen potential employees. For a list of some of them to choose from you can come here.

These are some of the ideas you can apply on how to do a background check in California. By familiarizing yourself with the laws and the necessary steps to obtaining the records in the state, you will be closer to the results you need.