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California Case Protects Constitutional Right of Background Screening Firm to Report Sex Offender Registration

A California Court of Appeals decision filed March 23, 2010 held that a background screening firm has a constitutional right to report that an applicant has appeared on the Megan’s Law website (MLW) as a registered sex offender. The Court further held that under the California law, the prohibition on the use of such information for employment does not apply where there is a person at risk.

In Mendoza vs. ADP Screening and Selection Services, Inc (CA2/8 B214653 3/23/10)(Certified for Publication) the California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District heard an appeal from a job applicant who was denied employment apparently on the basis that he was listed on the MLW. He sued the background screening firm alleging, among other things, that it was illegal to report his sexual offender status due to the California law that prohibited the use of such information for employment decisions.

The background screening firm defended on the basis that the California Anti-SLAPP statute protected its free speech. An Anti-SLAPP law seeks to protect parties from frivolous lawsuits when they exercise their First Amendment right to free speech. The trial court upheld the background screening firm’s position.

Read the full story here

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