Kemp v. Superior Court, 86 Cal. App. 5th 981 (2022)

In 2020, the background reporting agency in this case disclosed to an employer a conviction of an individual from 2011 who had applied for a job. Following receipt of the report, the prospective employer withdrew its job offer. The individual then filed this lawsuit against the reporting agency on the ground that the conviction/parole was too old to have been the subject of such a report. Although it is legal under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for a regulated agency to report a person's prior conviction to a prospective employer no matter how long ago it occurred, under the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) and the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act, a reporting agency is prohibited from reporting a "conviction of a crime that, from the date of disposition, release, or parole, antedate the report by more than seven years." The reporting agency demurred to the complaint on the ground that the parole period ended fewer than seven years in the past, but the trial court overruled the demurrer, holding that the "plain meaning of 'from the date of...parole' refers to the start date of conditional release," which had occurred more than seven years before the report was issued. The Court of Appeal denied the reporting agency's writ petition (thus finding the demurrer was properly sustained in part) and ordered the trial court to further overrule the demurrer to the extent the trial court had held that the FCRA preempted the ICRAA claim.

Background Check Agency May Have Violated State Law By Disclosing Conviction

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