EmployeeScreenIQ serves an impressive roster of clients ranging from Fortune 100 organizations to mid-size corporations representing a diversity of industries. So whether you employ people in California, throughout the United States or in over 200 countries abroad, we are your one stop shop for employment background checks.

Listed below are some things that those who conduct employee background checks in the state of California should know.


State Capital



California has 58 counties.

State Court Structure

  • Superior Courts in each county are the trial courts of first impression, with trial level jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases including felonies, misdemeanors and traffic matters.
  • Appellate Courts: There are 6 state appellate districts in 6 locations.
  • Supreme Court of California: the court of last resort in the courts of the State of California. It is headquartered in San Francisco and regularly holds sessions in Los Angeles and Sacramento. Its decisions are binding on all other California state courts.

Federal Court Structure

Trial Courts:

  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California

Appellate Court:

  • Federal cases in California are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Ban the Box Laws

  • California has a statewide ban the box law that applies to public employers.
  • City and County Ban the Box: Berkeley, Carson, Compton, East Palo Alto, Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, Alameda County and Santa Clara County.

Credit Report Restrictions

California has a law that restricts the use of credit reports in the hiring process.

Passed in 2011, prohibits an employer or prospective employer, with the exception of certain financial institutions, from obtaining a consumer credit report for employment purposes unless the position of the person for whom the report is sought is (1) a position in the state Department of Justice, (2) a managerial position, as defined, (3) that of a sworn peace officer or other law enforcement position, (4) a position for which the information contained in the report is required by law to be  disclosed or obtained, (5) a position that involves regular access to specified personal information for any purpose other than the routine solicitation and processing of credit card applications in a retail establishment, (6) a position in which the person is or would be a named signatory on the employer’s bank or credit card account, or authorized to transfer money or enter into financial contracts on theemployer’s behalf, (7) a position that involves access to confidential or proprietary information, as specified, or (8) a position that involves regular access to $10,000 or more of cash, as specified.  It also requires written notice informing the applicant of the specific reason for obtaining the report, as specified.

Authorizations and Disclosures for a Consumer Report

In addition to the FCRA, California has consumer protection laws that require additional steps in the background screening process which include, but are not limited to, a special checkbox and notice on the applicant disclosure to give job applicants and employees an opportunity to request a copy of an investigative consumer report or consumer credit report at no charge.

Other Limitations on Screening for Employers

California has laws that restrict an employer’s ability to seek or inquire certain types of criminal records which include, but are not limited to, arrests that do not lead to conviction, or other alternative dispositions such as post-trial diversion sentences. A consumer report in California generally cannot include cases that are more than seven years old.

Medical Marijuana

The state of California has a law which legalizes medical marijuana.

Social Media

The state of California restricts or limits private employers from accessing and requesting employee/candidate log in information for personal social media accounts.

The information on this page is provided as general educational information and is not legal advice, either express or implied. Consultation with qualified legal counsel is recommended for all matters of employment law.