San Diego

The San Diego metropolitan area is better known as San Diego County because it is the only county contained within the region. Its population of 3.3 million people is spread out among several well-known cities besides San Diego, including Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Oceanside, and Encinitas. Bordered to the north by portions of both the Los Angeles metro and the Inland Empire, San Diego County is also one part of the massive urbanized area sprawling across southern California. 

Although agriculture still plays a major role in the county’s economy, businesses across many sectors have made the region their home. San Diego is home to one of the most diversified economies in the state. Businesses as diverse as PetSmart, Jack in the Box, and semiconductor giant Qualcomm call the region their home. 

Though San Diego is just one county, its massive population and proximity to other major California metros mean the job market is very fluid. With that in mind, employers interested in responsible employee vetting must realize that a limited-scope background check that looks only at records from one city within the county could result in some vital information slipping through the cracks. Developing a policy of using metro-wide background checks can help to avoid such a scenario.

To be successful with such a policy requires careful compliance with California law. Employers in San Diego fall under the statewide ban the box rules that came into effect late in 2017. Private employers must wait to ask any criminal history questions during the hiring process and may not include such questions on initial applications. In fact, employers cannot even order background checks on an applicant until first determining they are otherwise a good fit for the position. When extending a conditional job offer and requesting criminal history data, all reported infractions must be considered in view of certain factors, such as time elapsed and relevance of the conviction to the job. 

California currently instructs employers to disregard marijuana convictions older than two years and misdemeanors followed by successful probation or a diversionary program. All applicants are entitled to a copy of the background report and state law imbues them with a right of appeal if an employer chooses to rescind a conditional offer based on information from a background check. 

As you prepare procedures that will net your business important information for hiring while remaining within the bounds of the law, consider the benefit of broadening your efforts to encompass the entire region. provides a convenient source for instant criminal history reports for San Diego County, including all the vital information necessary for hiring, and metro-wide background checks are also available for other California metros, too. With a simple, precise method for vetting potential new hires, your business can hire with confidence now and in the future. 

Learn more about our county background check options


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