The Integrity News
Vol. XI No. 31
November 15, 2002
"objective risk management services"
November 15, 2002
We are not lawyers and we do not give
legal advice. If you hire in California,
you might want to consult your legal
counsel regarding the compliance of your
paperwork and procedures with Calif.
Assembly Bills 655, 1068, and 2868.
The highlights of changes brought about by the
new California (CA) state laws, which are intended
to augment the FCRA, are as follows:
The CA Disclosure Statement must now also
include the name, address, and phone number
of the background checking firm, the nature
and scope of the investigation, and check boxes
where the applicant can elect to receive, or
elect not to receive, a free copy of any
background check report(s). And, those
free copies, if the applicant elected to receive
them, must be provided to the applicant
whether or not the applicant is hired, and
must be provided within 3 business days of
their receipt by the CA employer.
The CA employer must certify to the Consumer
Reporting Agency in writing (in our case, to
The Integrity Center, Inc.) that it will provide
a copy of the report(s) to the applicant if so
elected. (We will be contacting each of our CA
employers. Our updated Compliance Agreement
covers this requirement. We will also be
providing a sample CA Disclosure Statement.)
In general, it is no longer legal to include in
any CA background check report, any adverse
information more than 7 years old, except
for bankruptcies which can be 10 years old,
or unless the employer is required by a
government regulatory agency to look further
back. As of this writing, the new laws seem
to be silent on Federal Senate Bill 2561 which
amended the FCRA in 1998 to allow the look-
back period for criminal conviction histories
to go back to when the applicant was "of age".
We are currently pursuing this issue.
An investigative consumer reporting agency
(in our case, The Integrity Center, Inc.) shall
not furnish public record information unless
that agency has verified the accuracy in the
30 days prior to the date of the report. This
does not effect The Integrity Center, as we
have always provided ONLY freshly retrieved
reports. The FCRA requires that any adverse
reports be retrieved within the 24 hours before
the date of the report. But notice, this new CA
requirement effectively puts stored data
background checking companies, who sell
reports from gigantic databases, out of business
in California, because even their most recent
database updates are over 30 days old.
Investigative consumer reporting agencies
must now retain all investigative consumer
reports for two (2) years, no longer three (3)
years, for CA reports.