Excerpted from a KMIRNBC story by Daytona Everett

The California Supreme Court has upheld a state law that requires employers to obtain workers’ permission before hiring a company to check their backgrounds.

The court in a unanimous ruling on Monday rejected an argument that the law was unconstitutionally confusing because it overlapped with another law that doesn’t require employee consent.

The justices said employers could follow both laws.

The thought of a background check can be terrifying for hopeful job candidates but in most cases, it’s what determines whether you get hired or not.

“We do a thorough background check on them, and the background check consists of a criminal check and we do a five panel drug screen,” Vinette Morris, President of RennickBarrett Recruiting Inc., said.

Morris’ employment company evaluates potential employees before sending out their information to clients.

“In the criminal check we do sex offender registry,” Morris said. “We do a national search and some of our clients, they require credit checks.”

This process is standard for most companies. Home Instead, a Palm Desert company employing caregivers, performs its own background checks.

“We did our due diligence to make sure that these caregivers are completely checked and trustworthy and able to do and perform the tasks that are needed,” Rob Castello, President of Home Instead, said.

The background checks continue to get more strict.

“As of a couple years ago, the state said all caregivers that are going into homes must be registered with the state of California,” Costello said. “That check goes back years, and anything that has come up in their record thirty years ago, will show up.”

Having a criminal record isn’t usually the red flag holding people back, according to Morris.

“The most common we see, believe it or not, has to do with drugs,” she said.

Marijuana, opioids, heroin, etc. A failed test from one of these drugs can immediately disqualify a candidate.

Social media is the second platform RennickBarrett analyzes on a potential employee.

“Social media isn’t just the second step, we even source from different social media platforms.”

Both companies said there will always be exceptions for these rules depending on the circumstances of the flaw in the background check. It’s always safer to be forthcoming on a job application.

“If you check no and something comes back, the state will kick you out just automatically,” Costello said. “If a misdemeanor shows up, it may be okay depending on what it is but only if you answered yes on that and explained.”