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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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Can my employer fire me for refusing to sign a form that waves

Customer Question

Can my employer fire me for refusing to sign a form that waves my right to privacy?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.

What specific privacy right are you being asked to waive?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

HI Doug,


My Employer wants me to sign a document with this clause in it. "I herby authorize Science Applications International Corporation ("SAIC"), and/or any service provider or entity directed by SAIC, to obtain consumer reports about me regarding my education background, subject to applicable law. I further understand and agree that such consumer reports may be obtained now or later from time to time without further notice to me and for so long as I am an employed by SAIC, all as SAIC in its sole discretion determines is necessary or advisable."


I am refusing to sign on the grounds that it gives the company unlimited access to my personel privat information. They say this is to verify my education, which I have no problem with, but why do they need to have unlimited access after they have verified my education?


Additionally Ca. code 1786 states that the employeer has to state which company is going to perform the research/check before the document is signed, and mine has not.

Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.

You may have a problem if you continue to refuse to grant the authorization. Your employer has every right to verify your education and compare that with what you claimed in your application for employment. There is no violation of law in asking for that. The ongoing ability to check your educational records in the future makes little sense, but is not ever going to be the basis for a wrongful discharge lawsuit if you are terminated for refusing to comply.

As for CAL. CIV. CODE § 1786, et sec, I have reviewed the language of that specific section and find no reference to a requirement that the name of the company to be retained to conduct the investigation must be specified in the authorization. Perhaps you mis-cited the code. I will be happy to look at another citation if you have one you believe directly applies here.

I wish you the best in 2012.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

You may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions; and if you do, I ask that you please keep in mind that I do not know what you may already know or with what you need help, unless you tell me.

Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided.
Please understand that I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation, and I trust that you can understand how it would be unfair for me to be punished by a (negative rating) ----the first 2 stars/faces----for having been honest with you about the law.

Thank you,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You Sure you are a lawyer? Read this again: 1786.16 as it pertains to Section 1786.12 (2) iv.

Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Read it again?---The problem was that you referred me to an incorrect code section---it is not a matter of me needing to read anything again.

Under the circumstances, I won't be able to assist you. I am opting out and perhaps another expert will help.

Please do not respond to this message as it will send this question back to me.

Thanks and good luck.

Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

Yes, you are correct. Section 1786.12 (a)(B)(iv) states that your employer must include the name, telephone number, and address of the person conducting the investigate consumer report.

You also have a right to the results of the investigative consumer report.

However, as an at-will employee, you can be terminated if you fail to agree to the background check that your employer is requesting.

Consenting to the report being made does not waive your personal right to privacy (which cannot be waived under California law), and if it is violated, you would still have a cause of action against your employer for violating your right to privacy.
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

Or, please feel free to ask me any follow-up questions you have.

Thanks and best of luck!