The 3 ways employers can learn about your past, and what kinds of information employers CAN and CAN’T consider about you at different points in the hiring processAll about an the Fair Chance Act, an important new law that restricts when most employers can learn about your criminal recordWhat kinds of information employers CAN directly ask you about your criminal recordWhat information employers CAN’T ask you about your criminal recordWhat your rights are if an employer runs a background check on you through a private background check companyWhat your rights are if an employer decides not to hire you based on the results of a private background checkWhat your rights are if an employer runs an “in-house” background check on you How to correct errors in your “in-house” background check

This section explains the laws and your rights when an employer runs a background check on you for a job. It will explain what information an employer CAN and CANNOT see, ask about, and consider about your criminal record; and what information background check companies CAN and CANNOT report about you. It also explains how to correct background check errors, and what you can do if an employer or background check company violates the law.

IMPORTANT NEW LAW IN 2018: On January 1, 2018, the Fair Chance Act (also called “Ban the Box”) became the law statewide in California. It greatly restricts the ways in which most public and private employers can consider your criminal record when you apply for a job. Read on to learn more!


KNOW YOUR RIGHTS OVERVIEWYour rights against employers with five or more employees

    PUBLIC and PRIVATE employers CAN run a background check on you and CAN consider certain parts of your criminal history when deciding whether to hire you — but most can only do this AFTER they have given you a conditional offer of employment.Most PUBLIC and PRIVATE employers CANNOT at any time ask about: arrests that did not lead to conviction; convictions that have been dismissed/expunged/sealed; participation in court diversion programs; and certain minor marijuana convictions; your RAP sheet; your credit report.Employers MUST notify you if your conviction history has caused them to withdraw (or “rescind”) their conditional offer of employment; in this notice, they MUST provide you with a copy of the background check report or any public records used to disqualify you from the position.Employers MUST give you the right to respond to their withdrawal of your job offer due to your criminal record.

Your rights against background check companies

    Background check companies CAN report information about convictions; lawsuits and civil (money) judgments against you; evictions; DMV driving records; and other personal information from within the past 7 years.Background check companies CANNOT report information about convictions; lawsuits; unpaid judgments; tax liens; or any other negative information that is more than 7 years old.Background check companies MUST check that information from public records is accurate and up-to-date.