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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4

    Default Denied Employment After Background Check

    A job was offered to me depending on the results of a drug screen and background check. I don't do drugs or even so much as smoke cigarettes so the drug screen was fine however, I was denied employment (Illinois) after given a start date due to a misdemeanor traffic offense that occurred over 5½ years ago. All I was required to do at the time was pay a $500 fine. No jail time, no suspended license. I was not even aware that it was a "Criminal Conviction" so I did not think to disclose it on my application. Is there anything I can do?

    It's no way that I (with this minor offense) could be the worst person that could be employed at this company (of more than 20,000 people)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,036

    Default Old Traffic Conviction

    You may wish to explore the possibility of expungement.

    It is possible that you were denied the job not because you had the conviction, but because (intentionally or not) your answer wasn't correct.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Yes, after further talks with the employer, that appears to be the case (I did not properly disclose it). However, the department that I interviewed with really wanted to hire me and had them re-reevaluate me and HR was told that there were more variables than just Reckless Driving. I went to the Sheriff's Department and paid for a background check and that is all I have. It has been over a week, and I have yet to recieve this letter that will detail the reasons for my denial of employment. It was supposedly mailed 1/27.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I was in a similar situation once. Over 7 years ago I got a reckless driving charge, which I subsequently got set aside. More recently, I applied for a job (completely unrelated to driving, in financial services) and there was a question on the application: "Have you ever pleaded guilty or no contest to any crime other than minor traffic violations". Reckless driving is arguably not a minor violation, and even though I had my charge set aside, I arguably did plead guilty to a crime, albeit minor. So after agonizing over this issue for some time, I answered "yes". A "yes" answer required a written explanation, which I put together and brought with me to the HR. They read it and asked no further questions. It's all history now. So my advice is not to hide this stuff. If your job does not require driving, you have nothing to worry about it, just be honest about it. Remember, president Bush had a DUI and he is still our president.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Hi Victor,

    Your last thread really hit home for me. I am a law student and I have been hired to work as a summer associate in a Massachusetts law firm this coming summer. This previous summer I was visiting some friends in Texas and I was arrested for possession of marijuana (about a gram) and possession of drug paraphenilia, both misdemeanor charges. I had never been arrested or been in trouble with the law in any way except for a few parking tickets and speeding tickets previously or since. My lawyer got me a deal where the possession of marijuana charge was dismissed and the possession of drug paraphenilia charge was set for "unsupervised deferred adjudicaton," which basically means that if I do not get in trouble with the law again over the next 180 days, that charge will be dismissed too. That time will be up this coming May. I did not have to do any community service or report to a probation officer or anything like that. I was briefly detained for a few hours and I did have to post bail (about $750) until my lawyer got me the deal a couple of months later, and I paid a small fine ($500), but that's pretty much it. I mainly agreed to the deal because I wanted my name cleared of any conviction record.

    Anyway, I got a bunch of paperwork from the HR department at the firm recently which included their standard application materials. They had me sign a Notification and Release form authorizing them to do a background check on me. They also asked me on the application: “Have you, in the last five years, been convicted of or completed a period of incarceration for a misdemeanor? (Do not include a first conviction for drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, minor traffic violations, affray or disturbance of the peace) Yes ___ No ___ If yes, please describe (place, date, offense, etc.).”

    I consulted with the lawyer who handled my case and he said I could answer "no" since I had never been convicted or completed a period of incarceration. So I marked "no" and sent all the materials in last week. But I am worried that between the background check and the technicality of my answer, the firm may think I am trying to misrepresent myself if they find out about the incident. I have been agonizing over whether to disclose what happened to someone at the firm, but I am really embarrassed about what happened. I have worked really hard to get to this point and I am terrified that I will be stigmatized forever in the legal community as some kind of pothead if people at the firm find out.

    So basically my question is do you think I should stay put and not say anything unless they ask me (which is what my lawyer, friends and family all say) or do you think I should disclose the information even though I technically probably do not have to (which is what one of my career development counselors at my law school and you seem to recommend)?

    I look forward to hearing your response. I apologize for my long-winded posting. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    254

    Default

    Quote Quoting RA
    Yes, after further talks with the employer, that appears to be the case (I did not properly disclose it). However, the department that I interviewed with really wanted to hire me and had them re-reevaluate me and HR was told that there were more variables than just Reckless Driving. I went to the Sheriff's Department and paid for a background check and that is all I have. It has been over a week, and I have yet to recieve this letter that will detail the reasons for my denial of employment. It was supposedly mailed 1/27.
    The bottom line that I can see is that your offer was rescinded because you falsified the application. The employer is under no obligation to send you a detailed letter as to why you were not hired. At this point, you need to start, if you haven't already look for another position.

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