California is rife with regulation of how employers may obtain and consider background check information for use in hiring and personnel decisions. The relatively new California ban-the-box law (effective Jan. 1, 2018) and the older Los Angeles and San Francisco ordinances and amendments to the California Labor Code set strict rules on when and how employers can consider criminal and credit histories in employment.
Before 2014, when San Francisco enacted a city-wide ban-the-box law, criminal history background checks were largely unregulated in California, except for a handful of Labor Code provisions that barred consideration of certain types of criminal records. And California employers were stripped of their ability to use credit checks for hiring and other personnel decisions in 2012, by amendments to the Labor Code that restricted the use of credit checks to very narrow circumstances. Los Angeles and the State of California have now joined San Francisco with their own ban-the-box laws, which markedly differ from San Francisco’s.
As the number of class actions alleging Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations continues to skyrocket, it is critical that California employers understand the basics of all laws affecting employment screening programs and determine what changes to policies, forms and practices will ensure compliance and reduce the risk of claims. [Read More @ SHRM.org]