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Can a potential employer require a job applicant to pay for fingerprinting/background check expense upfront?

Lancaster, CA |

Can a potential employer require a job applicant to pay for fingerprinting/background check expense upfront as part of the application process, even if ultimately not hired?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

No, but on a practical level, what are you going to do about it? Refuse to pay and you likely are not hired and all you are left with is a legal claim that is of questionable value.

If you really want to push the issue, I suggest you locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

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Asker

Posted

Actually, what has happened is that this potential employer has already deducted the expense from my daughter's bank account (she was applying for this part-time tutoring job). As part of the application, she was required to pay it upfront via direct debit from her bank account. Ultimately, they did not hire her. They explained that they were entitled to the cost of the fingerprinting because of the "contract" she signed as part of the application process.

Neil Pedersen

Neil Pedersen

Posted

In that case, she can bring a small claims action seeking the return of the money using the authority provided in Mr. Kane's fine response. Good luck to you.

Posted

Probably not. Under Labor Code 2800 and 2802, an employer is required to indemnify employees for em

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Brad S Kane

Brad S Kane

Posted

Employment related expenses.

Posted

No; consult an employment attorney who handles class actions. If you are not the only one who is being charged, there may be potential claim for many more applicants who each had to pay $50. Most will offer a free consultation so don't be afraid to ask for one.

Any post of discussion above is general in nature and is not intended to and should not be construed as legal advice. Furthermore, the above posting does not create or establish any attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. [John D. Wu is licensed to practice law before all California federal and state courts]

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