Landing the perfect job is not an easy thing to achieve. When background checks are a standard part of the process, it can become even more difficult. It is estimated that nearly 70 percent of employers use background checks as a part of their hiring procedures. Due to the prevalence of such procedures, it is important to understand your privacy rights when it comes to employment in California.
The Rationale of Background Checks
There are a number of valid reasons why California employers use criminal background checks. In some cases, the employer may be looking for information specifically related to the job. For example, any position that deals with children usually has candidates screened for sex offenses. Truck drivers, bus drivers and other employees behind the wheel often disclose their driving records. Other common background checks include credit history, criminal record, court records, drug tests, school records, and medical records.
Understanding Your Privacy Rights
It can be daunting to grant employers unfettered access to your personal history. That is why the Fair Credit Reporting Act exists. Under the FCRA, you must give permission for a background check. This means that the employer must clearly notify you before a background check is completed, and you must give explicit permission for such data to be collected. The FCRA also provides some protections if you are denied employment due to the results of the background check. You are entitled to know what was in the background check in order to see if discrimination occurred.
Additional Protections in California
States can also provide additional protections to employees. California has especially strong protections. According to the California Reporting Act, employers in California cannot use evidence of criminal conviction indiscriminately to prohibit people from employment. Employees are protected from action if convictions are of a certain nature or are more than seven years in the past.
The Value of Protection
The reason such protections are in place is that employment is an important part of maintaining a meaningful role in society. Without gainful employment, it is impossible to earn enough money to support oneself. This not only has practical implications, but it also has an emotional toll. The very concept of a background check runs contrary to the notion that people can change or that they deserve a second chance to prove themselves.
Contact Us Today at The Cartwright Law Firm
If you think that your personal information has been used unfairly, then do not hesitate to take action. Employers may have access to some of your personal information, but they are restricted in how that information is used. To see if your case has any merit, contact us at the Cartwright Law Firm. At The Cartwright Law Firm, we have more than 60 years of experience in California, and its lawyers are regarded for unparalleled experience with personal injury law. We have helped establish various consumer protections in California with passion and persistence. You can enjoy this kind of support when you hire us as your San Francisco employment attorney.
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