How far back can an employer go in a background check?

I was given a pre-employment background check and they went beyond the average 7 year check. They stated that I was ineligible for employment due to an issue that happened 22 years ago. Is this legal for a job that pays $15 an hour?

Asked on July 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You hail from the state of California and California does limit the number of years but only on certain issues, such as credit reporting.  I do not believe that they limit criminal background checks.  So then they could go back as long as they want.  If it is a criminal incident from that long ago consider expungement or seal or pardon, which ever would apply.  Good luck.

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