Background Check California
California Background Check Regulations
Background checks have become very common. Online information services make them easy to order. These reports can uncover a wealth of data about people. Credit reports give credit scores, showing how financially reliable people might be. Other reports can discover arrest records, criminal backgrounds, and job histories.
Hiring and training new workers can be expensive, so it makes sense to check on applicants to see if they have good work habits. A simple records check can confirm whether applicants have actually worked at the places listed on the application. People who meet a new romantic interest might want to know more about a person before getting too involved.
If starting a business with a partner, then most people want reliable information. References can be faked, and people only name those individuals likely to say nice things. Background checks give neutral or unbiased information. The cost for individual reports varies among companies. Some reports cost only about $10, but people can get a fairly detailed report for $20. The more detailed the report, the higher the cost will run.
Another popular reason people order reports is to find out about tenants. Unstable people make poor risks for rental units. Families with children certainly want to know if a tenant has a history of sexual abuse. Consumers should check up on anyone offering business investments. If the individual has a history of fraud convictions, then most people would choose to decline handing over money.
Background searches include neighborhood checks. Homeowners can find out if sexual predators live nearby. Some people check out teachers, sports coaches, school bus drivers, or service personnel. Nanny checks could prove very important, since nannies work directly with children. These reports allow people to research their environment as carefully as they choose.
The Most Important Background Check
The most important background check people can order is their own. People should always check out their own report at least once for accuracy. These reports must follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act, regulations passed by Congress that protect consumer rights. People who discover inaccurate information can request that the companies delete the incorrect data.
Identity theft can seriously damage anyone’s credit. Criminals often use someone else’s identity information online to commit many types of scams and fraud. Bad information could appear on anyone’s background report, causing trouble finding loans, jobs, or insurance. Smart consumers check their credit and background reports to discover problems, mistakes, or cases of fraud.
California Regulations Have Changed
All states must follow the FNRA law that protects consumers, but states can make the laws tougher, if they choose. Background checks get mixed reviews, because some people feel they invade privacy. The reports provide convenient intelligence useful for many purposes. States try to strike a balance between valid information needs and privacy issues.
Many people feel that employers should not use credit reports to make hiring decisions. California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 22 into law in October 2011. The bill prohibits most employers from using credit reports. The bill provides exceptions for certain types of financial jobs, including the following.
- Positions with the State Department of Justice.
- Law enforcement officers.
- Positions that require credit information by law.
- Managerial positions.
- Positions with access to sensitive credit card information.
- Positions requiring access to highly confidential information.
- Positions where people act on behalf of another in financial dealings.
Automated Records Check
California has instituted an automatic system to run background checks on people involved with certain types of public safety. The California Health and Safety Code requires Social Services applicants, community care residents, and volunteers to undergo instant background checks. The Justice Department, which administers the automatic program, also requires checks on employees.
Any facility providing children’s care must run background checks as well. All applicants for these positions must submit fingerprints by electronic scan, which speeds up the process. Individuals with clearances receive a confirmation letter, as does the employer. People with criminal records have their transcripts forwarded to the Caregiver Background Check Bureau, which is authorized to issue exemptions for minor infractions unrelated to child safety.
Background Check Issues
Several states have passed laws that limit or regulate background checks. In employment cases, there are several legal problems that must be solved. People often apply for jobs in several states. Current laws do not address which state regulations employers must follow. If employers must keep track of all 50 states, then things could quickly get out of hand.