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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4991
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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May an employer in California, as part of a "background check

Resolved Question:

May an employer in California, as part of a "background check form", ask about civil actions which are unrelated to the job and more than 10 years old and have been sealed?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  GSenmartin replied 10 months ago.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, E :

Hello and thank you for using our service. My name isXXXXX and I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help you. Believe me that I will try my best to give you a solution if one exists, but sometimes the law does not have a good one.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, E :

Sorry, looks like your question ended up in the immigration law forum. I will Opt Out and transfer you to the correct forum.

Customer:

ok

Customer:

Hello?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Relist: Other.
Expert said he would refer me to another expert.
Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
Hello,

My name isXXXXX am a licensed attorney, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Can you tell me if this happened to you?

If so, do you know where your employer found out this information?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

It is not known whether the employer is aware of the complaint. It is possible that it could be publicly available. However, the complaint has been dismissed with prejudice and ordered sealed by the judge more than 10 years ago.


 


The question is quite general - "Have you ever been party to a civil action"


 


Would such a complaint require a response? Thanks.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Are you there?


 

Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
Thanks for the additional information. I will get back to you shortly.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

ETA?


 

Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
Hello,

An employer is allowed to make a general inquiry into whether or not you have been a party to any civil lawsuit in California. However, the employer has absolutely no way of knowing about a civil suit that has been sealed or one that is older than seven years.

When a suit is sealed it is removed from public records and would not be seen by even a consumer reporting agency doing a background search. Also, it is illegal under California law for a consumer reporting agency to inform an employer about a lawsuit that is older than seven years old.

So, since the question is that general it is legal, but the employee can very safely tell the employer that he hasn't been part of any civil case, since the case is older than 10 years AND sealed.


I hope the above information is helpful.

Please let me know if you have any clarifying or follow up questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service. Please contact me first if you are contemplating leaving me a negative rating, as I’ll be happy to continue to address your concerns until you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work. (It doesn’t cost you anything extra and is necessary even though you’ve made a deposit). Please also rate me highly (9-10) when you receive your customer satisfaction survey as well.

Thanks and best of luck!

-Joseph
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. That is very helpful.


 


For further clarification, the civil complaint was not filed in california, but rather another US state.


 


Information relating to the civil complaint may potentially be available via the internet.


 


If, in the course of a background check, such information were to be revealed through a google search, would the agency performing the check still be able to report it to the employer, notwithstanding that it is older than 10 years?


 


Thanks! Please respond ASAP. Will leave best rating. Thanks.

Expert:  Joseph replied 10 months ago.
No, it would be illegal for the agency to report the case to your employer since it is over 7 years old.

They definitely shouldn't, but if that does occur, you would be able to sue them for at least $10,000 in statutory damages.
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4991
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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