General Question

buster's avatar

How far back do companies look at your criminal background on applicants.?

Asked by buster (10264points) August 7th, 2008

I have several misdemeanor charges on my police record all from when I was 18–20. Im 26 now. I heard they don’t go back more than 7 years. Is this true? Should I put all of them on an application?

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10 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I’d be completely honest about these misdemeanors…if you’re not, it could come back to bite you in the ass. Most prospective employers will appreciate the honesty, understand that “kids will be kids” and realize that you’re not a child anymore.

Lovelocke's avatar

Forever. Employers who have it in mind not to hire criminals won’t hire them because they haven’t done “X” in 5 years or more.

augustlan's avatar

@Lovelocke…not necessarily(sp). You can even get a security clearance if all you have are misdemeanors in the distant past.

loser's avatar

Buy then again, some places don’t even check…

cak's avatar

When I had to follow the standard the company I worked for, put forth, we had to look at the entire record; however, consider the time in between the last offense and the interview. Also, the severity of the crime was a huge factor.

Different companies, follow different policies. An automotive company I worked for would not hire anyone with a DUI, Reckless Driving…basically any vehicular offenses.

Best thing, be very honest! Yes, a lot of companies understand the “early” years, but it still may be a factor, if there are a higher than normal amount of offenses.

Good Luck!

Judi's avatar

This is so new that many companies now run background checks and then use the information if the feel they need to to disqualify a person. I think that in the next 5 years there will be law suits and companies will begin establishing a written standards for use in disqualifying people based on their criminal background.
I have apartments and we do criminal background checks. Our criteria spells out what kinds of crimes (crimes against people and property) disqualify, and says that 10 years after completion of the sentence (that means if they got 20 years but are out on parole it’s 10 years after the 20 years) we will no longer hold the crime against them. I really don’t want to disqualify someone for having a joint in their pocket 10 years ago.

cak's avatar

Judi, we’re the same way in our rentals. We didn’t want to be, but some incidents happened and we changed our contracts.

I do think it is something we’ll start see more regulation in how it can be enforced. It’s hard, but a company does look out for it’s interests, first.

Judi's avatar

We have to balance the liability too. I really don’t want to disqualify a guy who is 30 and had a 16 year old girlfriend when he was 18, but in many cases he will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life. Will I be sued because I allowed a registered sex offender on the property and something happened? Will I be sued because I used information available on a Megan’s law website to discriminate against an applicant? If I disclose to all applicant’s what my criteria is then they all move in with their eyes wide open.

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augustlan's avatar

[Mod says] Personal attacks are not permitted, and have been removed.

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