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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Disclosing Misdemeanor Conviction History

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Nebraska

    I have a question regarding if/when I should disclose a conviction history. I have a history of two DUIs, one in 2004 and one in 2006.

    I applied for a job a few weeks ago by completing a brief online application and providing a copy of my resume. The online application did not ask about a conviction history. I received a call a few days ago and have an interview scheduled in two weeks. I was mailed the application which I am to complete and bring with me to the interview.

    The application specifically asks "have you ever been convicted of a felony" to which I will accurately 'no.' However, the application also includes a consent to a criminal background check with the Nebraska State Patrol to which I have to sign next to the statement "I certify to the best of my knowledge and belief that the information provided by me is correct and complete. I understand that any false information contained on this document may result in my release or discharge." Additionally, the application includes a request for my driving record.

    Since the application only asks about felonies, should I disclose my history of two DUIs on my own accord since I would assume that they would show up when they do their background check, even though I was not asked to disclose this information? Would not disclosing the DUIs indicate that I did not provide the agency with accurate information? Additionally, if I should disclose the DUIs, is it better to bring them up at some point during the interview or wait until after the initial interview?

    Thanks for any info/advice!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Disclosing Misdemeanor Conviction History

    This is a judgment call, not a legal one. IMHO, if the employer only asked about felony convictions, no significant upside exists for volunteering misdemeanor convictions.

    Separately, you may want to explore having your misdemeanors expunged so you can avoid this situation with prospective employers in the future.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Disclosing Misdemeanor Conviction History

    My philosophy is that it's always better to tell the employer about something unpleasant that's going to show up in a background check rather than have them be surprised. The appropriate time to do this is at the end of the interview (hopefully you will have wow'd the interviewer by then) which also allows you to explain that you made two dreadful errors in judgment, never to be repeated again. It's been six years since your last DUI so you can point to a positive record since 2006. (I'm trusting that you didn't drive drunk again rather than that you just didn't get caught!)

    It's unlikely that the company will go to the expense of doing a background check on you prior to the interview.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Disclosing Misdemeanor Conviction History


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Disclosing Misdemeanor Conviction History

    Unfortunately, Nebraska does not have the option to expunge or seal a conviction history for adults unless the arrest did not led to a conviction or you can prove that there was an error on the part of law enforcement.

    Appreciate hearing several opinions on the matter. Part of me thinks it is better to just be upfront and disclose the information at the end of the interview which allows me to provide an explanation and ensure that the employer knows that my record has been clean for six years, I do not continue to engage in the same behavior, and I have learned from my mistakes.

    However, another part of me isn't sure if there is an upside to volunteering information that isn't asked. The app simply asks about felonies, so I am being honest when I check "none." If at the end of the interview I tell the potential employer about the convictions, he/she could dismiss hiring me at that point right after the interview process and it's all over. If they decide to go to the expense of completing the background check than in all likelihood they've narrowed it down to a couple of candidates, and I'm only a step or two away from being hired.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    437

    Default Re: Disclosing Misdemeanor Conviction History

    This is a judgment call only you can make. If the employer runs a check on your criminal background and driving record, these two DUI's are going to show up however. I think the fact that the most recent is six years old will significantly limit any impact it might have on your candidacy.

    Good luck to you.

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