company halted offer due to criminal conviction – which I disclosed

A reader writes:

I recently interviewed for a position, and before I was scheduled for an in-person interview, I was asked to fill out an official application. I did so, being completely honest in the background questions that I have a misdemeanor on my criminal record. They had the usual disclaimer saying “this is not necessarily a bar to employment, but lying about it is.” I have always taken this to heart, and was up-front on the application.

When they called me a few days later to schedule the in-person interview, I was so happy to see that my record was not going to be a deal-breaker for them. I went for the interview — an all-day affair with 10+ people, including a C-level executive — and it went splendidly. I was even happier when they requested my references a few days later and started checking them. I was sure an offer was being crafted at that moment.

All of a sudden, I get an email saying “call me right away” from a senior HR person, no one I had interviewed with. She said my candidacy was being immediately withdrawn due to my criminal record. I was shocked, and told her that I was fully honest on my application, and had assumed that when they processed it and scheduled my interview, that they were implicitly saying they had read everything on it and found it to their satisfaction. She admitted, yes, this was the way it should have worked, but another HR employee had “let me slip through” when they shouldn’t have. She said “you never should have made it as far as you did,” and even disclosed that someone had been fired for this “oversight”! I pointed out to her that everyone I interviewed with saw me as the best candidate, that the supervisor had gotten to the reference-checking stage, but to no avail; she claimed that no matter who had wanted to hire me, even with the CMO’s endorsement, I was not eligible.

My question is: Since they admitted fault by firing the HR person, can I sue for “failure to hire,” or some sort of breach of contract? I am in a sense being denied this job, which everyone involved wanted to hire me for, because of their admitted mistake.

I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think you have a case. There was no contract, and companies are allowed to decide not to make an offer at any time for any reason as long as it’s not based on a legally protected class. Not everything that’s frustrating or dumb or incompetent is illegal.

(Also, if you want other companies to seriously consider you for a job, suing the ones that seriously consider you and then ultimately decide not to hire you isn’t exactly going to entice other employers to put you through their hiring process, lest you sue them if you don’t ultimately get the job.)

That said, their rule itself might be illegal if you live in one of a handful of states that bar employers from using criminal conviction as a basis for refusing to hire someone.

But assuming you live in one of the many states that do permit this, here’s the rest of my answer:

Companies are staffed by humans, who make mistakes. The unfortunate reality is that we’re all at risk of being affected by them, including job-seekers. You can be told an offer is coming, only to then learn that the position has been canceled and no one had told HR yet, or that the CEO vetoed your hire because she didn’t like your background even though everyone else did, or whatever.

However, in your particular situation, I would recommend asking the hiring manager — not HR — whether there’s any way to have an exception made, because your criminal record is solely a misdemeanor. Even better if you can say that it’s only a misdemeanor stemming from something minor years and years ago. I don’t know what your crime was, so that last part may not work, but play up whatever you have to your advantage there. For instance, an arrest for civil disobedience at a political protest is far different from an arrest for shoplifting — and an arrest decades ago is far different than one last month. So make the case to them for why they shouldn’t lose out on a great hire for something that ultimately doesn’t impact your strength as an employee.

And take your case to the hiring manager if you can, rather than HR, because HR is often (but not always) focused on rules, while hiring managers are often (but not always) focused on results.

But if that doesn’t work, all you can do is move on.

Now, was the company wrong to overlook this information and waste your time? Yes. Should they at a minimum apologize to you for this and not act like you did something wrong? Yes. Is their rule illogical to begin with? Sounds like it, especially if it allows for no case-by-case judgment.

But the world is full of incompetent people, and some of them hold positions of power when it comes to hiring. If you can’t go around them to get the decision changed, you just have to move on — and maybe you just dodged a bullet, because who knows what other inflexible rules they may have that would have made your life hellish as an employee.

{ 60 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous*

    Something else that wasn't mentioned, but is important, is the nature of the employer's work… and the job itself.

    A misdemeanor might be nothing. But it's a lot more of something if you're talking about serving as a security guard, a bank teller or some other similar type of role.

  2. Anonymous*

    And this is why in most cases HR never gets the proverbial seat at the table. Blindingly and dogmatically enforcing policies that may not be in the best interests of company, because the department does not have the institutional fortitude (or HR bench strength) to implement policies requiring greater discretion.

    How highly you think that CMO is going to think of the HR department after they torpedo her preferred candidate over something she doesn't consider relevant?

  3. Anonymous*

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says that a person cannot be denied employment based on a criminal record alone. Instead, the decision to hire or not must be based on a �business necessity,� which requires the employer to consider:

    * The nature and gravity of the offense or offenses.
    * The time that has passed since the conviction and or completion of the sentence.
    * The nature of the job held or sought.

    Sorry OP, this likely isn't the reply you're looking for.

  4. Karen*

    I'm going to echo the poster at 5:04 on this one. My impression has always been that a criminal record alone wasn't grounds for not hiring, but that the nature of the offense may be.

  5. Anonymous*

    Hi everyone, I'm the original poster. To follow up…

    –nature of the job. I'm a statistician. Nothing security related in the job, no financial data, no handling of money, etc.

    –The nature of the offense. According to the HR rep, they automatically refuse any candidate with a "crime of dishonesty" charge – mine was shoplifting. I almost laughed when she was explaining to me how "bad" my crime was; she gave examples of things that wouldn't have been as "bad", like drunk driving, assault, domestic violence, child neglect, or weapons possession! Evidently, any range of crimes that hurt or endangered human beings were preferable in their minds!

    –Going directly to the hiring manager. This is a good point, which I may try, particularly since the position is still unfilled. By the way the communication proceeded, I'm pretty sure that the folks who interviewed me, including the hiring manager, didn't know why I was removed; it seemed like they were simply told to stop communicating with me and forward all questions to the HR rep.

    I did particularly ask the HR person "so…even if these managers and directors and C-levels want to hire me, no exceptions can be made?" She assured me that no, not even the president or CEO could override this rule to get their candidate hired. However, as someone points out, the C may not know they were being trumped by HR in this way, and may be quite upset about it. I'm thinking I should contact the hiring group directly and tell them all this whole story – why I disappeared, and how HR is usurping their authority.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  6. Ask a Manager*

    OP, your follow-up makes it sound even more like this may be a rogue, overly-rules-focused HR person. I'd definitely reach out to the hiring manager directly — just do it in a calm, non-accusatory way. You want to look like the professional, and let them draw conclusions about this HR rep on their own.

  7. Ask a Manager*

    The EEOC guidance on this is somewhat confusing. The EEOC says that companies can use criminal convictions as the sole reason to disqualify an applicant IF the company can show a ‘business necessity” for that policy. And "business necessity" has been left pretty vague; an employer can argue that any conviction is job-related to the extent that it makes you less trustworthy, for instance.

    The EEOC does direct employers to consider “the nature and gravity of the offense or offenses for which the applicant was convicted; the time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence; and the nature of the job held or sought.” They also say: “Conviction records may be considered in the employment decision as evidence of conduct that makes an individual unsuitable for a particular position. However, where there is a disproportionate impact based on race or national origin, the employer must demonstrate that it considers the relationship of the crime to the position sought.”

  8. Unemployed Gal*

    So they’d hire you if you were an angry, violent, drunk, gun-toting, wife-beating, child abuser? Umm, do you still want to work there? Sure, no one would steal your stapler (“We don’t hire thieves“), but I’d watch my back in the parking garage if I were you.

    1. D*

      i was convicted of misdemeanor assault which is basically slapping someone. it was an isolated drunken incident from 5 years ago (and no it wasnt a female) and i have since been sober. i completed probation early due to good behavior, completed drug/alcohol court, completed an anger management type course (8 months long), completed a year long substance abuse counselling program and attend aa meetings to this day to ensure maintenance of sobriety and help others to get sober. i have not gotten even so much as a parking ticket in the last 5 years. that being said, i worked at a company for 9 months as a temp and they liked me so much that they offered me a full time job. only to have it taken away and have my temp position terminated by someone making a decision from a different state. in my opinion people make mistakes and by no means should any misdemeanor be considered serious enough to bar employment.

  9. Anonymous*

    This is o.p. again….yes, she did give me those examples, that's why it was almost laughable…"see, if you had done something _minor_, like kill someone while driving drunk, we wouldn't have a problem. But because you did something AWFUL like deprive a multinational corporation of .000000001% of its hourly child-labor-generated profits, you just don't deserve a job". Ah well, I'm clearly letting my politics leak out here, which are a wee bit aside from the original issue.

  10. Anonymous*

    As long as consideration (read opinion)can influence the decision, beating this horse won't change the outcome.

  11. HR Godess*

    The HR Department made more than one mistake. The should have never told the candidate they let him "slip" through. They could have disqualified him and not drawn such attention to themselves.

    That aside, if the company has made a decision that their policy is not to hire anyone with this type of offense, the policy should stand. Making exceptions for anyone opens a huge can of worms. It's best to stick to an all or nothing approach with a policy like this.

  12. Anonymous*

    Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the OP thinks that shoplifting is no big deal? As an HR person, I would like to know when the crime occurred and how much property was stolen, whether or not jail time was served, and whether or not he/she was still on probation or if there had been any probation violations. The examples given by the HR person of acceptable crimes are stupid, but I have a feeling that the OP is not providing the full story. And, do you really want an employee who doesn't think stealing is a big deal because it doesn't hurt the big company that much? So when he starts taking things from people who make more money than him is that a big deal? Shoplifting definitely speaks to a person's character.

  13. Anonymous*

    Hi, o.p again. First off, I'm a woman. For some reason everyone has assumed I'm a "he".

    Also, I would like to express my disappointment that someone has chosen to label me a "criminal", and say that what happened speaks to "my character". I never, ever said shoplifting wasn't a big deal; my point was that shoplifting is distinctly in my mind less of a big deal than the crimes the HR rep recited me as more acceptable in their hiring process.

    Do you honestly believe that people cannot make, and recover from, mistakes? Do you really think that I should never be able to get a job? Does that not violate the constitutional idea of freedom from cruel and unusual punishment?

    To answer your questions, it was a suspended sentence, no jail time, there was no probation, and and thus no violations of probation, etc etc.

    To remind you and everyone, this is a discussion about the merits of an excellent candidate vs. a misdemeanor, and secondly, how HR handles or mishandles such issues. The issue is not my "character" or what you think of it.

  14. Unemployed Gal*

    I don’t think the issue here is if shoplifting is a “big deal” (although I agree that getting drunk and running someone over is a bigger deal). Applications require you to include the details of the conviction, so HR knew whether he stole a Spice Girls CD when he 19 and stupid or ripped off an iPod last month, even if we don’t. It was a misdemeanor, so I doubt this guy’s the next Bernie Madoff.

    The issue is that the HR screening process failed on several levels. If they hire this guy anyway, they need to rewrite the conviction policy to be fair to all other candidates. That would require HR to use their brains, which they haven’t done much yet. If they reject him, not only is management losing (in their opinion) an excellent candidate, the company is opening itself up to EEOC troubles. Of course, if HR had used their brains before, they just would’ve sent him the stock “we chose a more qualified candidate” letter and no one would’ve been the wiser. According to their standards, a candidate without a criminal record would be more qualified.

    So HR was dumb enough to let a criminal “slip through,” fire someone for it, offer management an excellent candidate, waste everyone’s time, take the candidate away (possibly without explanation to management), and, to top it all off, tell the candidate all about it.

    Wow. I’d hate to see how these morons handle payroll and benefits.

  15. Anonymous*

    Maybe the OP should try to get the conviction expunged from her record.

    That way it would be an non-issue.

  16. Alana*

    Depending on the misdemeanor and how long go it was, you may be able to have it expunged from your record, depending on the state.

    I'd contact a lawyer.

  17. Melanie*

    You know, something similar happened to me, not over a criminal record but over my visa status. I'm in the United States as a part of an exchange program. I'm sponsored to be here, I'm allowed to work anywhere without the employer needing to sponsor me or so forth.

    A week after I arrived in the States I interviewed for a job, it went well and I got called to say I had the position. I just had to do a background check and I'd start the following week. The job was in a different state to where I was staying so I made arrangements to move, booked transport etc and then got an email that said: "Sorry, but I am going to have to rescind the job offer due to your visa status." I emailed back to ask for an explanation and she said it was because I needed sponsorship.

    I had my sponsor company call and explain to her about my status, which they did and called me back to say I still had a job, don't panic. So I went forward with my background check info and got another email that said. "Your job offer is rescinded." That's all. It was very, very upsetting, especially when I moved into an apartment for the job because she wanted me to start the week later.

  18. Anonymous*

    Hi, it's OP again….here's the closure. I took AAM's advice and wrote directly to the hiring manager. I said I didn't know how looped in HR had kept her in why I was removed, and I wanted her to have all the necessary information to decide my eligibility herself. She ignored my email entirely, and I have not heard back.

    On a better note, I had an interview somewhere else, and in an effort to avoid this sort of problem again, immediately followed up with an email that said "I have a misdemeanor, is this a deal breaker? I don't want to get too far along in this process before I find out if it is." The hiring manager wrote back and said no, we only ask about felonies, and they have since spoke about setting up additional interviews and asking for my references. So nothing is for sure, but it's certainly moving in a positive direction.

  19. Anonymous*

    As an Ex Human Resource Manager for a Fortune 100 company, regardless of what standard the EEOC promulates, companies will continue to not hire individuals with a criminal record. Overall this is not a good policy. This has only come into the forefront of hiring in the past 15 years. Companies that do background checks are using scare tactics mainly in order to sell their products. The work was no more dangerous then than it is now. It is true that no one wants to work with a murderer or a rapist, but these days a felony charge is lot easier to get, child support, bounced checks, DUI. I hardly think that these people should spend the rest of their lives without a chance of employment. The only way the EEOC can put teeth into this ruling, will be if they put the controls in place to monitor these business practices. Such as making companies report as to how many applications were received with convicion part of the application filled out honestly. Compared to how many were hired. I do not think the EEOC going this far They will leave businesses the ability to advoid this issue. Largely by companies using online applications and the delete button.

  20. Anonymous*

    This is OP, I'm trying for a second time to post a follow-up to this issue. (AAM weeded me out the first time, I think, maybe because the story doesn't have a happy ending?)

    The adventure did not end with the failed offer in this letter. The "new lead" I mention in my last post did pan out to a lucrative job offer which was !surprise! rescinded when they did a background check. Nevermind that the offer was already in writing. Nevermind that two hiring managers and the HR representative had said that a misdemeanor was "no problem". They backed out at a point _beyond_ the last possible moment.

    The hiring manager, in pressuring me to start ASAP, had made me quit my existing job before I got the rescindment, and my old job, when I told them what happened, forced me to resign and would not allow me to stay in my existing job, regardless of 3 years of excellent performance reviews. Did I mention I was the sole wage earner and source of health insurance for my family? Yeah.

    I'd love to hear again from those law-and-order types who thought I was getting my just desserts.

  21. Ask a Manager*

    Anonymous, I don't "weed out" comments unless they're openly abusive of others or spam. You and I have emailed about this issue before, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't continue making erroneous accusations.

  22. Anonymous*

    Dear Ask a Manager,
    Is there any more follow up to OP's
    story? This is the most helpful site I have ever read and I was actually feeling somewhat empowered until I read this story, because I have had a similar experience with a criminal history and have since gotten my records sealed but it makes little difference for a healthcare worker.
    Thank You Very Much,
    unemployed in healthcare

  23. Ben*

    { This has only come into the forefront of hiring in the past 15 years. Companies that do background checks are using scare tactics mainly in order to sell their products. }

    This is sooo grossly true. The background screening companies have agressively promoted the fictitious value of largely inaccurate and incomplete information. The lack of circumstantial detail contained in background checks renders that information, at best, unreliable for the purpose of making hiring decision.

    The problem is now so pervasive, systemic and widespread that the EEOC is going to revise and reissue its guidelines in an attempt to stop background screeners from continuing to arbitrarily create a permanately unemployable social class. EEOC has no choice but to try to reduce to social burden created from denying citizens the opportunity to equitably contribute to society.

    The problem is that EEOC does not make law. They can only make it easier to enforce that which is already illegal. For example, men are convicted of misdemeanors at nearly ten times the rate of women. Therefore, arbitrarily denying a male applicant a job on the basis of a misdemeanor that is statistically irrelevant to the specific job duties will likely result in discrimination litigation.

    This situation will not end until a few devastatingly expensive law suits convince human resource people that their guesses as to a person’s character are of much less value than the guesses of those who actually perform an interview.

  24. Rick*

    Thievery is not really minor. Neither are any of the other offenses listed. They all point to what may be a serious defect of character which may or may not be chronic. If the offense happened one time, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, and you have since had no issues, turned your life around, found Jesus (or some other flavor of religion), volunteered with troubled youth, sewn teddy bears for homeless disadvantaged er chemo babies, or whatever, then perhaps you should be given a second chance. It’s not right to hold people forever at arms length because of an ancient misdemeanor conviction. It’s not necessarily right to give people excessive crap over an arrest record either considering anyone can be arrested for anything at pretty much any time for absolutely no good reason. Falling in this category myself I am very much aware of how people with misdemeanor criminal histories are treated, even when they are very old. Blanket discrimination is not right no matter what form it comes in. This is why the EEOC has modified Title VII. The states need to get on board and reform their own laws now to support the federal laws.

    1. Robin Mosley*

      Yes they are and in an era of corrupt prosecution of innocent people and exaggerated bullshit minor theft and minor assaults which are garbage anyway at face value prima facia are killing this country meanwhile the real criminals the elite leftist corporate fascists are pushing and doing every in the book and getting away with it.. If you are attacked and defend yourself as I was the court escpecially a city court court called Mobile AL which accoridng my and several other lawyer sand eveyrone I talked too AND SAW with my own eyes violates your due process and rights and find EVERYONE guilty. Its a tool for evil people to get back at you to ruin you and you sit there self-righteously ignorant of it.

  25. John Busciglio*

    Just like to say that this problem is chronic. I had a job offer in writing accepted it, and have email exchanges that my computer is being set up for me. My start date was Monday. Today, I get a call from the HR manager telling me they are rescinding my job offer due to my criminal background check. Here is the problem, since I know this is a hiring issue, I disclosed my record upfront (Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct), explained what would appear on the arrest affidavit (Battery on LEO, resisting arrest). I was told that they company policy is only to look at convictions, and felonies at that. I was given an interview date and application. I disclosed in writing on the application. During the interview, the hiring manager and I discussed my background from 4 years ago. We discussed the incident that lead to the conviction and my decision to handle the case without going through a lengthy trial. I was told that the company has hired candidates with criminal records in the past by the person who recruited me, in fact she had a background and was worried about it too when she was trying to get hired. The HR manager said I did not meet the companies hiring standards due to the “totality of evidence”. Say What? Sure he said, it was honorable of me to disclose my background, unfortunately, he says, had he not been out of town during my hiring process, I would not have been given the interview in the first place. They use a third party agency to run their checks. I only glanced over the consent form since I had already disclosed, and was told not to worry about it. Upon further review, nothing in the consent form talks about convictions or arrests as a possibility for a denial reason. Apparently there is an adverse action letter on the way. Oh, and the job was for the position of “programmer” which I would telecommute part of the time. The other part of the time, my butt would be parked in front of a computer working with code all day sharing an office with one other employee. I feel like I am being treated wrong. Maybe nothing illegal happened, but I cannot imagine this company is following the laws in other circumstances. They are accidentally discriminating on protected classes (age – older someone is more likely to have an arrest, sex- men disproportionately arrested/convicted from women, same with race.)

      1. John Busciglio*

        I am in Florida. I did not resign another position. I did not turn down any formal offers.

        I have been working as a freelance consultant (S-Corp) for the past 4 years. Hence, no position to resign from. I did let the hiring manager know that I would be suspending consulting activities that are related to this position, and should I be hired, I would not be pursuing contract negotiations or contract renewals. I have informed my contracts that I would not be seeking to renew at this time, and took steps to wind those projects down with orderly hand-off to the next vendor/consultant. I pulled my resume the day the offer letter came (Feb. 9th) and have followed up with positions that were at various stages letting them know I had accepted an offer. I have turned down interviews since Feb 9th and in fact turned one down this morning, letting the contact know I had accepted a position.

        I was very diligent in my job search. I was even willing to take less money in this role because it is work that I am very interested in. They have contracts with over 30 states to run the web-based un-employment/job search/training applications. I really wanted a job using my skills to help other people find work and get off of unemployment. When this opportunity came up, I knew it was the perfect fit for what I wanted to use my skills to accomplish.

        I really want this problem to be addressed somewhere. Sadly, I believe it is simply a condition of the labor market and too many qualified applicants for any one position. I agree with the process of background checks. Should my business ever grow to where I would need to hire someone, I would definitely run criminal checks.

        When I spoke with the HR manager, I asked him, since you are in the business of job searching and helping people find work, would you mind explaining to me why the process for being hired at your company doesn’t disclose to potential candidates up front that if they have a criminal background they won’t be hired? Of course he said it was case by case, he said all the legal things he is supposed to say. He also said that the offer made it clear that my employment was contingent on “passing” the background check.

        There is no such thing as passing a background check. It is not a test, it is a judgement call that is made after the fact and in my case after I have already successfully reformed and served my punishment and repaid my debt to society. He went out of his way to tell me that he was not passing judgement and he was only going on the “totality of evidence”. He fell just short of saying he didn’t trust me because he has family members that are LEO’s and since my arrest was for battery on a LEO, then I must be guilty of that felony.

        I would have felt much better if that is what he would have said, if that was the truth. The truth is, I was completely honest about my background, I am not the same person as I was 4 years ago, the others in the company I talked to understand that and wanted to hire me, congratulated me and began welcoming me to the company.

        I have been reacting to that in the past week by gearing up my life to take on this role and to deliver on my side of the relationship with this company, including breaking off other potential relationships with current and potential future contracts.

        I went and took out a loan, not that it matters much, but I got a personal loan to put tires on my truck, to move to an apartment a little closer to the job, and to buy some clothes for work. I just wanted to start this job fresh and really put my best foot forward.

        I got stomped on by this HR Manager. I am crushed. I already tried on the clothes and threw away the receipts. I have everything laid out for next week at work. I even bought a few things for my new “office”.

        I’ll probably still move to this new place because I really wanted to keep my office separate from my living quarters anyways, but damn.

        He said that he is sure their are other companies out there with lower hiring standards, I just have to work harder to find them. I asked him if they knew of any since they are in the business of helping people find jobs. He pretty much told me I was on my own as far as that was concerned. He was really trying to be nice I think, he didn’t have to spend the time talking to me, but I had the sense the whole time that he was reveling in the power that he exerted over me. Telling me it was his job to make decisions like this. Uuugghh!!!

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I actually think you should talk to an attorney and have her send a letter seeking a severance payment, on the grounds that you severed relationships with clients and turned down other interviews on their word, including their assurance that your criminal record was a non-issue. You may find that they end up making a payment to you.

          Totally aside from that, Florida law says that employment may not be denied solely because of a conviction. The exceptions are if the conviction was for a felony or a first- degree misdemeanor that is directly related to the position sought by the applicant, or if the position is in a law enforcement, fire fighting, or correctional agency.

          1. John Busciglio*

            Yeah, that is why he said “totality of the evidence”, to get around that. Maybe the adverse action letter will shed some more light on why the decision was made and maybe I will have a chance to look at the information they pulled to make sure it is accurate.

            I am suspecting it will be the standard, based on our background check, we are unable to hire you at this time. You have a right to review the finding of the CRA by contacting Accuscreen and requesting a copy of the report.

            I signed a notice and disclosure form for the 3rd party CRA, the application and the CRA form both contained a release clause.

            I am looking at the application, offer letter, and CRA consent again and nowhere do I see a pre-adverse action notice that says I may be denied employment based on the findings.

            The application asks for me to tell them about my convictions or no contest pleas for misdemeanor and felonies and traffic that included license suspensions (DUI, wreckless, etc) and provide specifics. I did that along with verbal. At no point did anyone say, well that might disqualify you. I was told explicitly that “those aren’t felonies, you’ll be fine”.

            The CRA consent simply says paraphrased, if you lie you will be disqualified. It doesn’t say anything about the actual contents being used against me if the company doesn’t like it. It was sort of implied, but like I said, I figured that was the case anyways which is why I was up front about my past. Still though, if that is part of the hiring policy, the CRA form sure didn’t back them up.

            The offer letter says, verbatim quote, “This offer is conditional on a satisfactory check of your references and criminal background search” /verbatim quote.

            Signed by the president of the company. I asked the HR manager over the phone to give me a chance to discuss the background check. He told me the decision was final. I have no idea if the information he based his decision on was accurate, and he is not willing to give me a chance to find out.

            It sure seems like a blanket policy to me. Especially since he says that I did not meet their hiring standards. By definition a standard is not case by case.

            I am still shell shocked, but the feedback I have been getting from my circle of friends and colleagues is that I should take a lawyer and challenge this companies new hire policy. Uhhggg! If I wanted a drawn out court battle dumping money on to lawyers I should have took my criminal case to trial!

            I had to weigh the pro’s and con’s of that 4 years ago. The only con I can see in pursuing this action is that my name will get in HR circles and I will be avoided from future consideration like the plague!

            The biggest pro I see is exposing hiring practices that create a class of people who are punished for a prior offense in unusual ways. Being denied job offer for a minor offense is an unusual punishment for a crime that happened years ago. Especially when that person has complied with the law since then, and paid for their crime to the full extent of the law.

            I think it’s a little more than the possibility of discrimination against a protected class. I think it is also a violation of the spirit of a persons natural rights to continue to punish them long after the victim of the crime has been made whole.

            Sure it is the companies right not to hire me for whatever reason, and I support that right even though it produces unfavorable outcomes for me.

            At the same time, I have a right to not be punished in cruel and unusual ways. This has been a protected right since it was codified in British Parliment in the 1600’s. It survived the American Revolution and is the 8th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

            An argument can also be made that since my conviction results in economic hardship, the practice of the states to keep these types of records on public file after the penalty for the crime has been paid, is an excessive fine. It is clear to me and to anyone else that is going through this, has gone through this, or will go through this, that the economic loss from a minor offense is tangible and directly related to the fact that the courts and arresting agencies hold these records in the public domain long after the public has been made whole.

            I don’t necessarily blame the company, or in this case, this HR Manager for making these types of judgmental decisions, but there is no restraints in place in the legal system of the states to make sure that once my criminal activity has been resolved to the satisfaction of the law, punishments will cease.

            I mostly “blame” this on the accessibility of private information in the public domain. The government should protect private data and put a real standard in place that ensures the data made public will not harm an otherwise reformed citizen.

            Yes, there is the expungement process however, background checks can use other information that is not expunged in this civil proceeding. That is the arrest record and copying of that record across the internet.

            So the process is really outdated and needs to revised in light of technological advancements in the areas of data aggregation across the public/private sectors.

            We wouldn’t even know about this type of cruel and unusual punishment if not for the mistakes that HR departments like this one make.

            People need to be aware that their punishment for minor offenses and even arrests without conviction that are documented for all to see will cause them economic hardship out of balanced for the crime or alleged crime they commit.

            If people were aware that stealing a pair of $100 shoes would end up costing them 100’s of 1000’s of dollars in fines via loss of future income, they might think twice about lifting those shoes.

            So at the very least, law enforcement and legislators should get behind the idea banning people based solely on their criminal background.

            Or possibly we could live in a more rational society that recognizes that once a person has paid for their crime, they are free to continue pursuing their lives in a way that doesn’t continue force them to pay unusual fines.

            This grey area in the law that deals primarily with disproportional race/age/sex statistics is distracting from the real problem and that is lack of forgiveness codified in to law writ large.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              Again, have a lawyer send a letter seeking a severance payment, on the grounds that you severed relationships with clients and turned down other interviews on their word, including their assurance that your criminal record was a non-issue.

              1. John Busciglio*

                I understand sending that letter via lawyer gives it the weight of law and implies a potential lawsuit.

                How much should I ask for?

              2. John Busciglio*

                oh and to whom should I address the letter? It is a privately held company, 1 owner.

                Should I send it to the HR Manager and the Owner?

  26. Anonymous*

    Ok so here is my dilemma I will explain it in full detail removing the names of the company for privacy. I have been offered a supervisors position at a major internet sales companies distribution warehouse. My offer came in the mail with a drug test form ( I will have no problem passing) but also a criminal background check form. The interview process was like no other I have been through, a recruiter got a copy of my resume off of the internet and called me, after the phone screening I sat through a panel interview with upper management which I aced, than I was called the next day to have a 1 on 1 with the director of operations which I aced, than I was called back in the following day to have informal time with the department I would be heading which I aced, because the following day I was called and informed they wanted to extend me an offer with a salary which is 21% higher than my salary now as a department manager with another company, excellent benefits better than I have ever had, and an excellent bonus system, of course I excepted the job. The company pulled the job positing off their website, and said that I would have to complete a drug test and local background check, and what day could I start because upper management was anxious to get me started asap, I gave them a date 3 weeks out in March and gave my employer my notice. Now after explaining that here is my dilemma. In 2005 I was convicted of a misdemeanor forgery (acts in writing). My mother owns a tanning salon and when her and my father went on vacation that year she as usual had me handle the books and money. Long story short she told me if we needed any cash while she was gone to just sign a business check with her name and cash it at the bank. While away I needed money to pay one of her vendors who would only take cash so I wrote a check for $150.00 signed her name and the bank cashed it, never thought twice about it until a week later when the police showed up at my house and said I was being charged with 2 counts of forgery. Long story short even with my mother testifying and a good lawyer it was the banks policy to to press charges for anyone that signs somebodies name on a check other than theirs, and the law was on their side. I was charged for a misdemeanor forgery served 12 months probation and that was the end of it. Now what is scaring the hell out of me is I have only had 2 jobs in my life the first I was working at when this occurred and I was in a position of trust at the time, they did not think twice about it as I was a good supervisor as well as they new the details of the case. After being laid off in 2010 due to the downturn in the economy I was recruited almost immediately by my current employer, when filling out the application and it asked me about criminal convictions I answered honestly and was given a chance to explain once again no issue with taking a management job because of the time since the offense occurred, it was my only offense, my solid work history and my specialized skill set as well as outstanding references spoke for themselves. Okay so this is why I am worried this is the best job that I have ever been offered, I never filled out an application so the question hasn’t come up until now, I am panicking because I know I could take a chance and lie maybe get away with it but that is against everything I believe in, or just reply yes and take the chance of the offer being rescinded any advice would be great.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Don’t lie because if they’re doing a background check, it’ll come up and the lying will disqualify you. Talk to them now and explain it to them. Good luck!

  27. Anonymous*

    Well just an update about my situation as posted above. So much for honesty, I was honest on with my prospective employer about the forgery charge, I was told not an issue after I explained the circumstances and so on, I was just told that they would run my background check through a third party compay and to be prepared to start on the 19th of this month, no problem, right? Well I interviewed and hired a replacment for my current position, and have packed all my belongings and even have a going away party that my current employer is throwing for me my last day which is next friday. Just about an hour ago I get a call from corporate H.R. at the new company that I was going to work for notifying me that my offer has been rescinded due to another criminal conviction I did not disclose coming up on my record, I was floored. I asked what it was seeing how I have only had that forgery conviction and she said that she could not tell me they will be mailing the letter out informing me tommorow. I could not beleive this could not give me any more information than that, of course she said that under FCRA I have a right to dispute any information I feel to be incorrect, o.k. I said no problem, I asked her if I can clear this up were we going to move forward with the job, she replied thats out of my hands I cant tell you that. I asked for the background check companies name, which she gave me and I gave them a call ( rang to an indian outsource company) I explained the situation and was told they could not discuss the results with me, period, that I would have to wait to dispute the results via mail when my denial letter comes. I than pulled up the criminal docket sheets from the county I was convicted in to see if there was some sort of mistake our something out of the ordinary, none just the forgery conviction. I have been through background checks in the past and the only thing that comes up is the forgery charge seeing how that is my only conviction. I am highly irritated now because I was planning on starting this job, I am not even sure that I can retain my old job no matter how many loops I jump through. It seems that h.r. doesnt want to help, and now they arent even being clear about if it turns out to be a mistake (which it is) than I can still start the job, this is absolut nonsense, what can I do, do they have to allow me to start the new job if I can prove that this was a mixup, please advise. I honestly have always beleived being a manager myself that using background checks to gauge prospective employees is the right thing to do, but after this and after hearing other horror stories I am changing my opinion, not only is it acting as a way for employers to discriminate at will against those with some mistakes in the past, it is also leaving others like myself in very bad positions. In one week I will have no job and no way to collect unemployment.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Wait and see what shows up when you receive the letter, and if it has an error in it, contact them and find out what you need to do to clear up the error. Be clear about the fact that you’ve already resigned your job to accept their offer, etc.

    2. anonymous and poor*

      Like I said in my post, people have the tendency not to be concerned about a situation if it does not apply to their lives. If we all would put ourselves in the shoes of others, the world would be so much better!!! hope things turned out well for you!!

  28. Anonymous*

    Also I should have added I turned down 3 other lucrative offers that I received in order to get into this company.

  29. Anonymous*

    Yes I just called this wonderful background check company back (Sterling Info Systems) and got ahold of a supervisor once again they would not give me any information regarding the results and once again I told them I have my court records from the county clerk, they informed me that once I have a copy of their background check than I may dispute information but that is a 30 day process, so I am out of work for 30 days, I am sending a polite email explaining that I will dispute all information and about the offers I have turned down etc…. etc….. etc…… to all parties involved, this is absolute nonsense. Btw….. the job I am leaving is at a nuclear power plant and I deal with many secure automated programs, I did disclose my forgery conviction as mentioned above and had no problem going through a federal NRC background investigation that followed me all the way to my freshmen year of high school.

    1. Anonymous*

      Yes sterling is very good…they stop ppl with. Records from getting jobs…sterling has been a thorn in my side

  30. Anonymous*

    So anyways I guess I will see what happens, I have a funny feeling that I am screwed though so I guess come monday I better start making some phone calls, I will keep you updated on what happens and any further insight or advice would be appreciated. I guess at the end of the day I wouldnt be in this situation at all if I would have never been convicted, mixup or not it certainely has taught me a few lessons in life that is for sure, one mark on your record and your professional career can be over in a second.

  31. REAnonymous*

    Good luck with that, one small mark can ruin a career in a NY minute. You can go from a white colar supervisory position to flipping burgers at McDonalds. It all depends on comapny policy. I had a job recsinded recently after being there 2 months because of a prior DWI conviction. Apparently this company does not accept any candidates with criminal records. After weeks of coming in on time, working late evenings and weekends, being nice and sociable to everybody, exceeding performance requirements, I was sumarily shot down one Friday afternoon. They told me ‘results from your back ground investigation were negative, you had one “crminal” misdameanor which is unnaceptable here at this company, goodbye’. I am 50+ years old , during that time I accumulated one negative on my record yet I am virtually blocked from applying for any type of job that requires a BGI. Which these days is about 85% of all jobs. I’m thinking about moving out of the country but I know it’s even worse in Canada. I have been on unemploynent for the past year or so an am reaching the end of my rope.

    1. Hank Williams*

      You say it’s worse in Canada, would Canada see your American background though? When they run background checks I would assume they order at most a Canadian Federal check not North American right?

    2. anonymous and poor*

      I know how you feel. I am 50+ too. Sometimes I think it is an age thing. what about you? read my post down below.

  32. D*

    i was convicted of misdemeanor assault which is basically slapping someone. in no way am i minimizing my wrong doing, but it was an isolated drunken incident from 5 years ago (and no it wasnt a female) and i have since been sober. i completed probation early due to good behavior, completed drug/alcohol court, completed an anger management type course (8 months long), completed a year long substance abuse counselling program and attend aa meetings to this day to ensure maintenance of sobriety and help others to get sober. i have not gotten even so much as a parking ticket in the last 5 years. that being said, i worked at a company for 9 months as a temp and they liked me so much, do to my good character and outstanding job performance, that they offered me a full time job. after a background check (which i did not lie about) the offer had been taken away and my temp position was terminated by someone making a decision from a different state. in my opinion people make mistakes and by no means should any misdemeanor be considered serious enough to bar employment. the same people complain about “lazy” people on welfare. i think they just want us to go die somewhere and leave them alone. great country we live in.

  33. Crystal*

    Hello…So I recently applied to a job and was offered the job but only if I passed the background check. A few days later I received a letter saying I needed to fax a copy of my ssn. I did so but for some reason, it was not received. About a week later, I received another letter saying my criminal background and everything else was clean. However, they said I failed because they didn’t receive the copy of my social and would no longer give me the job. What should I do?

  34. Krystal*

    This is a little different, in that my job offer wasn’t rescinded due to a criminal charge appearing on my background check.

    Since January 5, 2013, I have been going through the process for a job. January 5th was the orientation that I had to attend to get the job application. Job application wanted the last 15 years of job history, criminal record, schooling, references, etc. I have usually worked 2 to 3 jobs at a time, always keeping my 1st job for 13 years of that 15. The job application was due on January 11th and included having to go take a typing speed test or they wouldn’t accept the application.

    On the paperwork they gave me, the basic qualifications were:
    -Graduation from High School or equivalent
    -Ability to type 25 words per minute
    -Ability to pass 12th grad education equivalency exam; use of stand office equipment
    -Successful completion of drug & alcohol screen, CRIMINAL background check, psychological & physical evaluation
    – Ability to simultaneously perform multiple tasks in a distracting environment during emergency situations.

    On another sheet they gave me, it says employer will perform background check, drug test, physical exam after job offer.

    Application was accepted and I was called back to take a 2 hour 12th grade equivalency exam on January 16th. I passed that with high scores and was called back to take a multi-tasking test on January 23rd. I passed that was and scheduled to take the oral boards on February 7th, which is where a panel of 4 people (1 officer, 1 firefighter, 1 person from HR, and I don’t remember where the last guy was from) fire questions at you and ask how you will respond in certain situations and if you have ever been in certain circumstances. I passed that and was then scheduled for an interview with the Commander of the department. They had forgotten to call me when they said they would, so I thought I hadn’t passed the oral boards. They eventually called and scheduled me for my interview with the Commander on February 20th. I was really sick and couldn’t reschedule and had to go through with the interview. At this point it was between me and 2 local people (I live a little less than an hour away, but have no problem with commuting.) My supposed to be 30 minutes or less interview stretched to an hour and 40 minutes. She said I would be called by Friday the 22. I did not receive a call, so called the next week, thinking they forgot again. I never received a return call, but got a letter in the mail on that Friday stating that they had hired another person, but I would be kept on a list for the next 9 months.

    I was disappointed, but at that point I was extremely sick and wasn’t too upset, except about all the money I had spent in gas and buying interview clothes for all the different tests and interviews, since around this time my 40 hour a week job was cut to 24 hours a week.

    Fast forward to August 6th. I receive a message that they want me to come in the next day for an interview, could I please call them back. I called back and made arrangements for a 9:30am interview (remember, I have to drive about an hour to get there). August 7th, I arrive early for my interview and get taken almost right back. Interview was less than 25 minutes and was the Commander and the lady that would be the trainer.

    On the evening of August 14th, I checked my mail to find a packet and a written job offer. They had sent it out either on August 9th or on the 10th. I was to accept in writing by August 15th and return the 23 page background questionnaire, along with a recent copy of my credit report from the director of human resources for the County. Part of the job offer letter states: “I am authorized to offer you this position contingent upon your passing a background check, a psychological SUITABILITY test, sight and hearing exam and obtaining a negative drug screen.” I called the HR director on the 15th and told her that I had just typed up a job acceptance letter and that it would take me a day or two to fill out the Personal History Questionnaire since it was 23 pages long and in-depth, and to get a copy of my credit history, since I just received the packet late the night before.

    I sent in everything they asked for. They wanted 5 references who: 1) Are more than 21 years of age; 2) Are citizens, preferably with a business or professional status, with good standing in the community; 3) Have known you for the past five years or more; and 4) Are not relatives or past employers.

    A couple of weeks pass and I start hearing from my references that they got a long questionnaire to fill out about me around the beginning of September. A week later at my current employer, I’m handed an envelope addressed to my manager (that has her office in Portland, a 100 miles away). I knew it was an employer questionnaire, as my previous employers had already received theirs. I called the HR director to find out if I should just send it on in the mail to my manager, or if they just wanted to send out one to the address that was actually listed on the form for her (not my work location). This wasn’t the only mistake they had made with them, as they had sent some to work addresses instead of the personal address listed for my previous supervisors and had addressed some to the wrong people. She said she wasn’t doing the background check, a Detective at the Sheriff’s Department was doing it, and transferred me over to him. He said he hadn’t been waiting to get the written papers back, that he was calling the people (he gave them about a day of receiving them to fill them out and send them back) because he had expected them to receive them days before they all did and that I could send the letter on to my manager if I wanted to. He said that he had heard nothing but good things about me, just had to get ahold of a couple of people (which I had to resupply their addresses to him via e-mail) and that I should be able to start the rest of the hiring process in 2 weeks or so.

    This left me with waiting on my hiring stuff and further information on other tests I had to take, like the psych, sight/hearing, and drug test. Checked the mail every day to be sure I didn’t miss it. During this time, I had offers for other jobs, but turned them down since I had been offered this job way back in August. There was a very well paying job with great benefits that I was going to apply for that had a closing date of September 20th at 5pm to apply for and the job was right here in town, no hour commute one way if I was hired for that job. Again, since I had already been offered the other job, I did not put in my application for this job.

    On September 21st, I was at work for 12 hours, so my step dad picked up my mail. Sunday morning I got off work and got home and they told me there was something from county, probably my start date. To my surprise, it was a letter withdrawing the job. In the letter it states: “Unfortunately, due to information gathered from references during the background check, it has been determined that our ______ __________ would not be a good fit and we are currently unable to consider you further.”

    This was quite a shock, as I have no criminal background and my references told me what they had talked about with the detective and who the people they gave him were, when he asked for the names and numbers of other people that knew me.

    Monday, September 23rd, I called the HR director who sent me the letter to find out why I didn’t pass the background check. I have passed an FBI background check last year to get a license I currently hold, a federal in-depth background check by a private investigator to work for the railroad, a background check from the Bureau of Land Management, one from a Sheriff’s Department in another county in Oregon, one for WA State when I worked for their parks, one when I bought a rifle a couple of years ago, etc. I’ve never had a problem passing a background check. She said that she was not told why, only being told what she had put in her letter to me. The detective told her I had no surprise criminal background check that was not disclosed, or any surprises in employment, that I had listed all my employers, good and bad. She said she was really upset about it, as she had been waiting to mail out the rest of my stuff and my hiring information. She said she didn’t usually do this, but she gave me the detectives number and TOLD me to call him, because she felt it was a mistake. I talked to her for about 20 minutes. This was around 8:30am. She also said that in addition to your references, they will drive up and talk to your neighbors, which I don’t know any of mine well, since they are all relatively new and there are few people that live near me (all properties are acreage, not lots). At my mom and stepdad’s house in town where I stay due to work hours, I only know 1 of their neighbors.
    A little after 9am, I started calling the detectives number, 3 times an hour until a littler after 4pm, because I had to get some sleep after working 2-12 hour shifts almost back to back. No answer, it kept going to voicemail. Tuesday morning, I called again, got voicemail, tried one more time and again got voicemail. I left a message stating I would have my cell phone on me throughout the day while setting up stuff for the horses, I’d appreciate a call asap to get it cleared up. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and half of Friday went by with no call. I was advised to call the Sheriff himself, so I did. He had already gone home for the day and would not be back until Monday, September 30th at 8am, and to call him around 8:30am. I called at that time after getting off work and it went to voicemail several times, so I left a detailed message and a PLEASE call me asap because the HR director still really wants to hire me for the position. His voicemail message stated that he would get back to the caller within a couple of days.

    Tonight it is almost 10:30pm on Wednesday, October 2nd. I have not heard a peep from either the detective or the Sheriff. While looking online a little bit ago at current job openings, today they posted a listing for the job they had already offered me. Again it says must pass CRIMINAL background check.

    How do I appeal this not passing the background check, when none of the players in it (except the HR director whose hands are tied with the detectives report) will not get back to me? I’ve spent 9 months on this job.

    1. anonymous and poor*

      Krystle I am so sorry. I kinda know how you feel. I was sure I had a job because of the things that were said about me. I sailed through the interview and computer tests with high scores. At least that’s what an inside source divulged. To my great shock, I received a turn-down letter. Only they told me to feel free to apply for future jobs. I too was mortified. It has left me feeling terrible. I wrote a letter to the director and no response. People say move on, but until they experience something like you have they will never know how crushing it can be. It’s almost like a death in the family. I guess in time you will feel better. Part of my story is below. I did not go into details about the one particular job. Though not nearly as extensive as your experience, it was very similar due to being strung along for 5 months. But anyway good luck to you.

  35. anonymous and poor*

    Id hoped to see someone mention the “F” word. FELONY Well Rick, in a galaxy far far away (24 years ago) after flunking out of college my senior year, I left home did not really care where I went as long as it was away from the shame I felt living in a small town and the gossip was just too much. Yes I was a coward and lacked the courage to pull it together and keep moving on. well anyway, I became addicted to drugs and alcohol. I lost my job grocery store clerk and I became homeless off and on. For two years I lived that life. I got busted 2 time for possession of cocaine. One was for a 25$ bag and the other was for residue or dust left on a mirror on the table next to where I was sitting, still a charge. I also was charged with selling cocaine which was dismissed thank God. I was never a drug dealer. I was in jail for 9 months. Due to a clerical error they forgot to let me out when I was due, which was 3 months earlier, I was released with no probation and no parole. First person I saw when I hit the pavement was a former running partner ready to take me with her. Thank God I went the other way. I returned to small town USA I had one son, received welfare. I moved in with my mother who took me and my baby in. Thank you Mom. She became disabled and I cared for her or 6 years and I also cared for my sick sister until she recovered. After Mom passed, I got a full time job, returned to school starting from scratch at a community college, held my head up high, I ignored comments from people who knew me reminding me that I had gone to college for 4 years and didn’t get a degree. Anyway I continued to raise my son who recently graduated for college summa cum laude. I graduated with a 4.00 Bachelors Degree. Got a Master’s degree too. I had two great jobs over an 8 year period. I am not proud but I did not disclose my criminal past. I did lots of volunteer work over the years in rest homes, shelters, group homes,etc. I drew employment and when that ended I decided to apply for a local government job. I was honest and disclosed my past. Guess what no job. I am well qualified had great references and performance was stellar. My past has now put me in the poor house. It is so amazing how judgmental we human beings are. Unforgiving!!! I made mistakes and choices I should not have made but I saw the error of my ways and turned my entire life around. Now look at where I am. I am so distressed and I feel a lot like I felt almost 30 years ago. I can promise this, I will keep trying and I wont run away —not this time.— anonymous and poor

  36. confused and hurt*

    I recently applied for a position as a retail sales position with Verizon wireless. I worked for att 3 years prior had a background check everything went smooth with that company. So I applied for Verizon got a call from the recruiter very quickly had a phone interview it went well was scheduled a face to face interview,which also went well. I was offered the job and had have a drug test and background check. Which wasn’t a problem got a welcome letter and my start date. Passed the drug test and was told my start date would be pushed back because my background check wasn’t done but not to worry. So while waiting I get a call back saying I have a criminal history would I mind explaining. I told the woman I didn’t know what she was talking about she goes on to name three times that I was caught driving on a suspended license and one with transportation of open liquor. I explained that yes I have a suspended license I was
    honest about that in the face to face interview and was told that since driving doesn’t apply to my job it was ok and I didn’t lie was asked my driving history. I wasn’t aware that driving on a suspended license was a criminal misdemeanor in Illinois. I truly had no idea especially since I had passed a background check with att three years prior. She said it didn’t mean that they would rescind the offer but they had to review it and they would follow up. Well two days later they rescinded the offer. I am not a criminal and now take public transportation everywhere. This was a great opportunity and I am really bummed about it. I really needed this job I am a single mother of two. I know they probably hear I didn’t know a lot but in my case it’s true. She made it seem if I had said yes everything would have been fine. Somehow I find that hard to be true. Even me explaining and telling the manager about it didn’t help. And on the app it ask do you have a valid license I answered no. It didn’t help even tho the job has absolutely nothing to do with driving. Its really stupid I keep looking at the offer letter. I guess I should move on. I repeat I am not a criminal and the open liquor was not mine it was it was the passenger. Instead of letting him drive drunk I drove and am paying for possibly saving lives. Not to mention first advantage performed my background check. I should have done it because I had to provide documents to prove everything on my application. It was a a honest mistake and I was told by the recruiter that he’s not calling me a liar but I should have known. This is really hurtful and embarrassing.

    1. E.S.*

      I’m currently undergoing a background check for AT&T and I feel they may rescind their offer when they find out I had a misdemeanor DUI 5 years ago which I’ve been up front about on background form. I too keep looking at the offer letter in hopes that they will look past a moment in my life I’m not proud of and realize that’s not what defines me as who I am today.

  37. medicalfield*

    I had a misdomeaner 5 years ago for retail fraud a year later I had it expunged from my record. I. The first year I applied for a posistion that I was well qualified for but didnt get the job. 5 years have passed and I reapplied, got the job but the lady in hr asked me today if I ever applied before (5 years ago) she wandted to know if she should start a new file for me. I said I couldnt remember if I applied “I applied at alot of places 5 years ago” I thought that was the end of it but she asked for some personal info heigbt weight ssn (for fingerprinting) and said she will email my offer letter. I have a funny feeling… would she nosy into the old file do ya think?


  38. James Marcus*

    I was recently offered a position at Wells Fargo bank on the condition that I pass a background check which was to be conducted by First Advantage (FADV). My question is can FADV ask anyone to provide employment references within a company or just the contact who I provided (Team Lead) I only gave consent for my Team Lead to be contacted given that I reported to him for 5 years and he set my objectives and conducted appraisals?
    Thank you for your help
    James Marcus

    1. Caroline Pearce*

      I personally don’t understand why HR departments don’t conduct theses checks themselves why do they outsource to companies like FADV and LEXISNEXUS. With regards to your question they have to contact your Team Lead, why would they ask for his details then go to someone else, you didn’t consent to this. Hope this helps.

      1. James Marcus*

        Hi Caroline, thank you for your reply. I am with you on this one why do they outsource this sort of function you supply all manner of personal information which they store on their databases.

Comments are closed.