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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

To help employers in California deal with complex laws regarding the use of criminal records during background checks, Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will present a live webcast titled “Criminal Records and California Employers: A Lawsuit Waiting to Happen” on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT at the HR in California Virtual Event hosted by and the Institute for Human Resources (IHR). To register, please click here.

To avoid bad hiring decisions, California employers have increasingly turned to background checks as a risk management tool. The most commonly used tool is a criminal records check, as employers seek to avoid candidates that may create an undue risk. However, there is increasing concern that the overbroad and unfair use of criminal records during background checks may discriminate against protected groups and have a negative impact by preventing reformed ex-offenders from gaining employment.

Attendees of this hour long webcast hosted by Rosen – author of “The Safe Hiring Manual” – will learn about many critical “Only in California” rules that govern the use of criminal records for background checks. Topics will include unique California rules and current litigation surrounding the use of criminal records, limitations on what screening firms can report on background checks, and numerous limitations on what type of criminal records California employers may utilize. Attendees of this session will:

  • Learn how California laws regarding criminal records, due diligence and background checks are unique and different than the rest of the United States.
  • Understand key areas where businesses that hire or employ in California face significant exposure for damages if they fail to understand and follow California rules concerning criminal records used for background checks.
  • Audit their organization’s current practices in California for legal compliance regarding criminal records used for background checks.

Rosen will summarize the unique California laws designed to protect job applicants and to ensure that criminal records used for background checks are accurate. In 2014, California state laws took effect prohibiting employers from considering certain criminal records. The City and County of San Francisco passed its own “Ban the Box” ordinance in August 2014 and the passage of Proposition 47 in November 2014 reduced certain felony charges to misdemeanors.

With the dramatic increase in class action lawsuits involving criminal records, and the emphasis on ensuring criminal records are accurate and used fairly in California, the webcast “Criminal Records and California Employers: A Lawsuit Waiting to Happen” touches on an important topic for every California employer and Human Resource professional wishing to avoid costly litigation. To register for the HR in California virtual event taking place on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, please click here.

In 1997, Rosen founded Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – “The Background Check Authority®” – a nationwide background screening company located in the San Francisco, California-area that is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). He is a frequent presenter on issues involving background checks at numerous national and statewide conferences. For more information about ESR, please call toll free 888.999.4474 or visit

© 2015 Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – Making copies or using of any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR web site for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.


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