California Background Checks

Health Street provides a full range of criminal background checks in California, allowing companies to accurately screen job applicants before hiring. We offer a wide variety of employment screening ranging from a simple criminal database search to comprehensive investigative research of a person’s criminal record, job history, credentials, references and additional services like drug testing. For quality, professional and timely background screenings, Health Street is your place to an employment background check in California.

Register Now

What California Background Checks can I order through Health Street?

Why Health Street For California Background Checks?

Performing background checks in California isn’t as easy as calling former employers or checking public record databases. State rules and regulations stipulate how much information is disclosed in a legal background check. To further complicate things, procedures and requirements often vary depending on the state, region and even line of work. Health Street navigates the complex process so you can rest assured that you comply with California background check laws.

Hiring a background check company, known in the industry as a Credit Reporting Agency or CRA, is highly advisable. Unfortunately, employers are too often misled into thinking their CRA is doing a thorough and legal background check only to find that they’ve cut corners to save money. This also can lead to serious problems for your business in one of two ways:

dangerous
By not uncovering a full picture of criminal activity, meaning the applicant you hired is dangerous or dangerously unqualified.
dangerous
By revealing too much information, including things that by law cannot be considered during the hiring process.

The risk of uncovering too much information in a background check might not occur to you, but laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandate that certain protected information cannot be considered by employers when making hiring decisions. When hiring in California, it is crucial to use a CRA that understands the complexity of background check laws in California. Health Street strictly adheres to California background check rules, conducts fair background screens, and follows federal laws, too.

Background Check Laws Specific to the State of California

Until 2018, California did not have any specific laws directing private employers about which criminal background checks they could conduct, and under what circumstances. California’s “Ban the Box” law, the Fair Chance Act, became effective January 1, 2018. It specified changes to the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act code that made it illegal for the overwhelming majority of employers in California to ask about job applicant criminal records there is a job offered.

In California, employers covered under the Fair Chance Act can’t ask job applicants any questions about a history of criminal convictions until they’ve received a conditional offer of employment. Employers are also prohibited from:

not_interested
Considering criminal history before making a conditional job offer.
not_interested
Considering arrests without conviction, participation in a drug or other diversion program, or sealed/expunged/dismissed convictions.
not_interested
Stating that a criminal history that is disclosed on a job application will disqualify job applicants.

Employers must also make an individualized assessment of applicant qualifications that consider the nature and gravity of criminal conduct, along with the nature of the job that is being conditionally offered or sought.

After making a job offer, employers can conduct a criminal history check, but they can’t withdraw a job offer based on the results until or unless they make an individualized assessment that justifies denial of the position that has been offered. They must also notify applicants in writing that they can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which investigates complaints and may assess fines if violations of the law are determined.

Statistics on Crime in the State of California

As the state with the largest population, California has a large number of violent crimes. According to the California Department of Justice Uniform Crime Report, in 2018, the following number of crimes were reported:

trending_up
1,739 homicides
trending_up
15,500 rapes
trending_up
54,312 robberies
trending_up
13,501 robberies using a firearm
trending_up
21,231 highway robberies
trending_up
568 bank robberies
trending_up
17,908 aggravated assaults with a firearm
trending_up
16,936 assaults with a knife
trending_up
36,494 assaults with another weapon

Also, in 2018 in California, there were 164,540 burglaries, including 85,693 home burglaries. A total of 110,141 cars were stolen in California in 2018, along with 33,524 trucks or buses. California’s DOJ reports that there were 444.1 violent crimes and 2,362.8 property crimes per 100,000 population in 2018. The DOJ says that statistics show a steady decline in violent and property crimes in the state since 1993.

Background Check

Citations

trending_up
“Criminal History in Employment.” California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, 2020, https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/criminalhistory/
trending_up
Mora, Jennifer. “Confused About Background Checks In California? Read This,” SHRM, May 8, 2018, url: https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/background-checks-employment-screening-california.aspx
trending_up
“Crimes and Clearances – 2018.” California Department of Justice, https://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/exploration/crime-statistics/crimes-clearances
trending_up
“Crime Reported from 2009 to 2018.” California Department of Justice, https://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/data-stories/2018/crime-reported-2009-2018