Applicants’ Criminal Background — Just How Far Back Can You Check?

February 09, 2023 | From HRCalifornia Extra

by Lisa V. Ryan, J.D., Partner at COOK|BROWN LLP; and Zachary Rankin, J.D., Associate at COOK|BROWN LLP

Most California HR professionals are familiar with the adage that, in general, background checks cover seven years of criminal and court records. But does the seven years run from the beginning of the individual’s parole or the end?

In a recent decision, California’s Fourth Appellate District ruled in favor of a prospective employee who alleged violation of consumer reporting laws when the employer used the end of the individual’s parole date as the start of the seven-year period (Kemp v. Superior Court, No. G061122 (December 22, 2022)).

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