employment background screening, California, ban the box

California Facing New Employment Laws in 2018

There are a number of new employment laws going into effect for Californians in 2018, including new regulations concerning parental leave rights, liability for construction contractors, closing the gender wage gap, harassment training in the workplace, and the state’s efforts to become a “sanctuary” state for immigrants. Also changing are some of the laws governing how criminal history information is used during the hiring process.

California Assembly Bill No. 1008 expands the “ban the box” legislation the state enacted in 2013 to private employers. It limits when employers are allowed to ask about a candidate’s criminal history; how they can use that history; and it imposes processes that allow the candidate due process when he is disqualified from a job due to the use of criminal history.

The bill, which affects all employers with more than five employees, prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment is made. Once that offer is made, the employer may then proceed with questions regarding the candidate’s criminal history, including by performing a criminal background check. Then, to use the information obtained through the employment background check, the employer must make an “individualized assessment” to determine whether the applicant’s criminal conviction has any direct bearing on the specific job he is being offered.

If the employer opts to rescind the conditional job offer as a result of the criminal background check, it must provide adequate notice to the applicant, along with five business days to respond, before the decision can be finalized. AB 1008 will not apply, however, to employers who are required by law to conduct a background check for the position.

Changes for Uber, Lyft

On November 9, 2017, the California Public Utilities Commission strengthened the background checks for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft. These TNCs are now required to use companies that have been accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) when conducting criminal background checks on their drivers. Specifically, the Commission now requires TNCs to:

  • Use an NAPBS-accredited background screening company. If the TNC conducts its screening in-house, then the TNC itself must be accredited by the NAPBS.
  • The TNC must receive proof of the background screening company’s accreditation and must provide that proof to the Commission.
  • The background check of each TNC driver must be conducted before the driver is authorized to drive for the TNC and repeated annually for as long as the driver is employed. Proof of these screens must be provided to the Commission as required.
  • The criminal background check is limited to the previous seven years of the candidate’s history. Information about the applicant within the previous seven years is not to be limited.

The Cedalius Group is the employment background screening company you can trust. We are accredited by the NAPBS, and we understand that every employer has unique recruiting and staffing needs. This is a good time to conduct a thorough review of your authorization and processing forms to ensure that they meet current compliance mandates. To learn more, call us today at 404.963.9772 or visit us online at www.thecedaliusgroup.com.

The Cedalius Group offers insight into the background screening industry for educational purposes. We always recommend you consult with your legal counsel to determine practices that best suit your business needs.