Can employers charge employees to pay for background checks and/or fingerprinting?

This is for the state of California. My employer wants me to pay 69 for my
fingerprinting and take it out of my first paycheck.

Asked on June 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In the majority of states, including CA, it is legal for an employer to have a job applicant pay for their own pre-employment screening. This includes the expenses related to both background and fingerprint checks. As for deducting from your wages to pay for it, generally an employer cannot make deductions without an employee's written consent to do so. However, such permission is probably contained in your employment paperwork. If not, no such deduction can be made. However, for $69 is it worth it to put your job in jeopardy? The fact is that absent some form of discrimination or breach of an employment/union contract or the like, in most employment arrangements a worker can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all.


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