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But you can expect to have to confront your history en route to getting a job. That being said, having a criminal history shouldn't discourage you from seeking gainful employment.
Do Misdemeanors Show Up On Background Checks
Ready to turn over a new leaf? Who can blame employers for wanting to find out if they're about to hire a convicted embezzler as their next CFO? Plus, a company that doesn't do background checks may be liable if it hires someone who commits a violent act, steals from a business partner, or sexually harasses co-workers. The Public Access to Court Electronic Records PACER system provides online access to federal court records, which employers can use to see if you've been involved in civil or criminal court cases.
For example, a state may allow employers to look back only five years, or to consider felonies but not misdemeanors. What if you were arrested but not convicted? However, as the experts noted above, certain states have laws that preclude the statute, so depending on where your arrest occurred, an employer may or may not be able to use that against you. Note that your record might not even come into consideration during the job application process. This guide from Nelp. For instance, there's a difference between a single instance of car theft 25 years ago, and a dozen convictions for car theft.
For example, if you were convicted of embezzling money, the odds of you getting hired as an accountant are slim to none. Employers must comply with all applicable federal and state laws regarding the collection and consideration of criminal history records. Since July 1, , California state and local agencies are prohibited from making any inquiry about conviction history on the initial employment application. This does not mean that the employer cannot inquire about convictions at all. Rather, criminal background inquiries can only be made after the employer has established that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications of the position.
This does not apply to those positions in which the agency is required by law to conduct a criminal history background check e.
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Once minimum qualifications have been established, the employer can ask about criminal convictions. In California, with the exception of peace officers, the agency still cannot ask about arrests not resulting in convictions. In Arkansas, any pending felony charges will show up in a background check , but misdemeanor charges will not. California , on the other hand, allows all pending charges to be included in a background check, and employers can even opt to be notified should those pending charges result in conviction.
Most states are like California, so the odds are that any pending charges will show up in a background check--regardless of whether or not it was a misdemeanor or felony. As with any type of background check though, the information that shows up is dependent on how closely someone checks the records.
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- Will Pending Charges Show Up On A Background Check?;
- Will a Misdemeanor Affect a Background Check??
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If an employer only runs a county check, and the applicant has pending charges in another county, then the pending charges won't show up. Employers are usually fairly thorough in their background checks, so these pending charges are usually found. When a pending charge crops up on a background check, don't panic and immediately disqualify the applicant. Criminal records can be incorrect or incomplete, so you want to be sure the information is valid. Refusing to hire someone with a criminal history can also be considered discrimination and discrimination can lead to a lawsuit.
Next, ask yourself if the pending charge is relevant.
How to answer questions about your record:
The only way to legally deny someone a job because of past crimes is to prove that your reason for denial fits into one of those three points; that is, the offense was recent, is relevant to the job, and was extreme e. However, since these points are subjective, it's still risky business to deny someone a job because of past crimes, particularly if they are still pending.
You might think the best course of action would be to just ask the applicant about the pending charge. While this isn't technically illegal, the EEOC discourages it.