Turned down for a good job due to background check :(

ThackerThacker Member Posts: 170
Hey Everyone,
I am 21 years of age and felt very fortunate as of yesterday... as King and Spalding... a worldwide lawfirm offered me a position making 23$ an hour. I was going to be hired on through a temp agency and if everything worked out I would have went permanent. However after doing a background check they noticed two misdemeanors over the past 4 years and immediately withdrew their offer.

Is this common practice with companies nowadays? I hope not because I am seriously freaked out at the moment and a bit skeptical of even applying to other companies due to this. It had never been a problem in the past for me but then again I had never applied at a big company or attempted to get that kind of pay either.

My charges were battery for an altercation with an ex GF in which she was charged also, and a disorderly conduct charge from 3 years ago where I refused to speak to an officer about a something that I had no knowledge of but allegedly my friends were involved in.

Comments

  • nicklauscombsnicklauscombs Member Posts: 885
    I would think most jobs in IT would perform background checks especially if you will be around sensitive information. Now that's not to say you can't get a job especially if you have a place to describe the incidents.
    WIP: IPS exam
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,749 Admin
    The driving, credit, and criminal background of an employee may bring an unacceptable level of risk to an organization. It's possible that if a check is performed on applicants when hiring, the same check will be conducted on all employees every six months thereafter. When you get a criminal record (convictions), a bad credit report, or traffic citations, you are limiting your professional career opportunities as well.
  • supertechCETmasupertechCETma Member Posts: 377
    It generally depends on the nature and degree of the misdemeanor. Battery would be considered a violent crime. Depending on the jurisdiction, the class of misdemeanor will have bearing. Background checks are more common when dealing with "sensitive" information. Lawyers are big on CYA. icon_cool.gif
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  • ThackerThacker Member Posts: 170
    It generally depends on the nature and degree of the misdemeanor. Battery would be considered a violent crime. Depending on the jurisdiction, the class of misdemeanor will have bearing. Background checks are more common when dealing with "sensitive" information. Lawyers are big on CYA. icon_cool.gif

    So is this a death sentence to my IT career?
  • malcyboodmalcybood Member Posts: 900 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thacker wrote:
    It generally depends on the nature and degree of the misdemeanor. Battery would be considered a violent crime. Depending on the jurisdiction, the class of misdemeanor will have bearing. Background checks are more common when dealing with "sensitive" information. Lawyers are big on CYA. icon_cool.gif

    So is this a death sentence to my IT career?

    I wouldn't say it's a death sentence to your IT career, just you may have some issues gaining employment in certain sectors. Some places have organisational policies on this, sometimes it's down to HR/Hiring Manager discretion.

    Not sure on how these things affect you in the USA.

    Is there not an equivelant to the rehabilitation of offenders act in the US?

    In the UK if somebody commits an offence, then stays out of trouble for a given time period (dependant on the offence) their conviction becomes "spent", where if you commit an offence when you're young and dumb you do not have to declare when you apply for a job etc, unless you're applying to work within certain environments i.e. vulnerable people, children, elderly, goverment, legal etc

    It is aimed to give ex-offenders the inspiration to change their lives around and give them a "second chance" so to speak.
  • supertechCETmasupertechCETma Member Posts: 377
    Thacker wrote:
    It generally depends on the nature and degree of the misdemeanor. Battery would be considered a violent crime. Depending on the jurisdiction, the class of misdemeanor will have bearing. Background checks are more common when dealing with "sensitive" information. Lawyers are big on CYA. icon_cool.gif

    So is this a death sentence to my IT career?
    Only if you let it...

    Persevere. I have friends with much worse records and doing quite well. My son scored a felony conviction in his youth but he attends and works for University of New Mexico. You can overcome anything. Stick with it and you'll be fine.
    Electronic Technicians Association-International www.eta-i.org
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  • jbaellojbaello Member Posts: 1,192
    Sorry to hear that experience, but I would also add that if you were to apply to my last two company that I previously worked and my current employer at the moment, they would be doing a heavy screening, may I suggest looking at their requirements, so you have an idea if they will infact conduct a background.

    I wish this record can get removed somehow, maybe they can?
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Some companies will consider the circumstances, and still hire. I am very close to someone with a much worse misdemeanor and that's what happened to him. It came up, he was asked about it, he gave his explanation, they felt good enough about him to hire him anyway.

    I would try to get that battery one expunged, if that is possible in your jurisdiction.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,749 Admin
    Thacker wrote:
    So is this a death sentence to my IT career?
    No, it only limits your opportunities to businesses that don't do background checks or don't care what's currently on your record. Also, your record shouldn't affect your ability to start your own business and conduct business with customers.
  • ThackerThacker Member Posts: 170
    JDMurray wrote:
    Thacker wrote:
    So is this a death sentence to my IT career?
    No, it only limits your opportunities to businesses that don't do background checks or don't care what's currently on your record. Also, your record shouldn't affect your ability to start your own business and conduct business with customers.

    Avoiding every company that does a background check is not going to be the best thing for me. Is it safe to assume ANY company that does a background check is going to disregard me for MISDEMEANORS? jesus christ.
  • roswaldroswald Member Posts: 35 ■■□□□□□□□□
    The Temp to Hire agencies often have much higher standards than the individual companies, and I believe this is where your problem comes from.

    I was in a similar situation where I went through the entire hiring process with a temp/technology consulting company, was told I had a job, then denied based on a single misdemeanor. I looked into it further, and the bonding process that temp agencies have to go through is a rigorous screening process that will be quick to eliminate people.

    I would take it with a grain of salt. If you can find a job where you can develop some experience and try to get some certs under your belt, you shouldn't have a problem.

    If you are seriously concerned with you future based on the two misdemeanors, there are ways to get your criminal records sealed or expunged after a certain period of time that will not show up on a background check. You'd need to check the state laws for expungement and contact a lawyer for the details.
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    Thacker wrote:
    JDMurray wrote:
    Thacker wrote:
    So is this a death sentence to my IT career?
    No, it only limits your opportunities to businesses that don't do background checks or don't care what's currently on your record. Also, your record shouldn't affect your ability to start your own business and conduct business with customers.

    Avoiding every company that does a background check is not going to be the best thing for me. Is it safe to assume ANY company that does a background check is going to disregard me for MISDEMEANORS? jesus christ.

    I have not heard of misdemeanors resulting in a candidate failing a background check, provided they were disclosed prior to the check. Were you asked to disclose these prior to the background check and did not? Part of doing a background check is to verify that the candidate honestly reported his background. I'm not suggesting that you were dishonest, it's just that sometimes exactly what is asked for can be confusing. As was mentioned, the class of the misdemeanor could come into play here, but seriously I've never seen it. I have seen questions on applications such as "have you ever been arrested?". It is possible to have been arrested and never charged with a crime.

    I would think DOD/Government would be the strictest place in terms of acceptance of candidated with misdemeanors. Does that firm do a lot of DOD/Government work?

    I have seen employers pass on candidates that had felonies in their background. In fact, this is common. I have also seen employers hire felons, but only when the event was fully disclosed prior to the background check. Yes, it is a risk, but there are always mitigating factors to just about everything.

    I know this isn't your situation, but I'm always amazed at the number of people with DUIs on their records. It would be easier for me to name people that I know have one than to think of people that don't. This holds true at all levels in financial services, where I have most of my work experience. I know many people in that industry who have convictions for one or more DUIs and yet were still able to pass background checks for hiring and SEC licensing.

    After all, our esteemed president has a DUI, and our vice-president has two convictions for drunk driving:
    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/bushdui1.html

    I can think of few things that are misdemeanors that are worse or more dangerous than DUI, and clearly having one doesn't prevent a person from becoming president.

    Not knowing the details of your event (meaning the hiring process), I would have to say it's one of two things. First, this firm is more stringent in its selection process than many other places (would they not hire Bush or Cheney?). Second, you didn't disclose something during the interview that then showed up when they did the background check (again, not necessarily purposeful on your part).

    I think you have many options. First, depending on what the details of the crimes and when in your life they occurred, you might be able to work with an attorney to have them expunged. Second, continue applying for jobs, making sure to disclose any events that might be a problem.

    Regarding background checks, interestingly, in financial services the single thing that I have seen the most people fail the check for was related to over-reporting their prior earnings during the bonding application. One place I worked had a rule that if a candidate reported prior earnings that were 10% above or below fact, that person was ineligible for employment.

    Best of luck to you,

    MS
  • KasorKasor Member Posts: 912 ■■■□□□□□□□
    For a Law firm, it can be a problem.... specially in metro city big firms.
    Kill All Suffer T "o" ReBorn
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    Hire a lawyer and see if it can be expunged or sealed at the very minimum. Could cost you $500-1000, but worth it.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • SepiraphSepiraph Member Posts: 180
    I'm curious what if you had to get Secret level type of clearance? Surely that should affect it, no?
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Yeah, even if you have your records expunged, the FBI (and the equivalently agency for your state) still have access to the records, probably.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    Depends on the jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions will destroy the records and some jurisdictions will make it disappear to just about everybody (more people than a sealing would).
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • jamesp1983jamesp1983 Member Posts: 2,475 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thacker wrote:
    It generally depends on the nature and degree of the misdemeanor. Battery would be considered a violent crime. Depending on the jurisdiction, the class of misdemeanor will have bearing. Background checks are more common when dealing with "sensitive" information. Lawyers are big on CYA. icon_cool.gif

    So is this a death sentence to my IT career?

    I definitely wouldn't say its a death sentence. A guy I work with had two felony counts and got hired. Don't give up hope.
    "Check both the destination and return path when a route fails." "Switches create a network. Routers connect networks."
  • michael_knightmichael_knight Member Posts: 136
    It depends also in the market you're in. If you're in the DC area or another place where there's mostly government contracts, it's a wrap for you. If you're in NY or Boston or someplace like that you'll be ok. Like a few other people said, try to get it off your record. If you do apply for a government job again, don't hide it because they will find it out anyway. Government background checks are just to see if you will sell govt info to the chinese for money (credit report) If you're a career criminal or murderer (criminal background check) and it basically asks people what type of person you are. The good knews is the longer you wait the better. In most cases backgound checks may only go back ten years some fifteen but being as young as you are you can always tell them that you were immature and they may accept that. From what I hear the NSA has pedophiles working for them
  • CrunchyhippoCrunchyhippo Member Posts: 389
    Thacker wrote:
    It generally depends on the nature and degree of the misdemeanor. Battery would be considered a violent crime. Depending on the jurisdiction, the class of misdemeanor will have bearing. Background checks are more common when dealing with "sensitive" information. Lawyers are big on CYA. icon_cool.gif

    So is this a death sentence to my IT career?
    Only if you let it...

    Persevere. I have friends with much worse records and doing quite well. My son scored a felony conviction in his youth but he attends and works for University of New Mexico. You can overcome anything. Stick with it and you'll be fine.

    "Overcoming" sometimes has nothing to do with it.

    I had an "other than honorable" military discharge 13 years ago when I was young and stupid, and that blight still follows me like a shadow. I am a stellar citizen in every other way except for that, but that discharge is still keeping me from getting networking jobs. I was offered a $47k/yr job recently with fantastic benefits (and the job was just down the road!), then it was rescinded when they discovered the discharge. You would have thought I was a convicted felon.

    My advice is that you're going to have to be careful about what jobs you apply for, that they don't do deep investigation checks or have secret/top-secret clearance levels. You might also tell the HR person up front if the convictions will be a problem. If it's a temp agency, they'll tell you what you want to hear, since you're just fodder to them anyway (nothing against you - temp agencies are just bottom feeders).

    I hope you're able to find something. It may take you longer than the rest because of your record. You'll have to decide if you want to persist in spite of the possible frustrations you'll encounter in the months ahead.

    Good luck.
    "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." - Popular Mechanics, 1949
  • aidan80aidan80 Member Posts: 147
    Sorry to hear about that! I've seen it happen quite a few times since I started working in the US! I'm still at my first (non IT) job I got here which is government (which I was lucky to get) thought I'd sit tight get some good solid US work experience under by belt and some certifications then the economy starts to circle the drain.

    Anyway.. I've seen quite a few people come though that got all the way to an offer then had it pulled for driving offenses and other things. There's been people who had to "resign" due to traffic offenses! I mean I'm at the bottom of the food chain in this dept but if I even got into trouble like that I'd be "released" that that one person who thought it was ok to show up at 08:02 every other day... ya know I'm thinking after I get my N+ (I've 5 years on the job experience from back home, it should help?) maybe I'll go out and get something in the private sector?

    My advice is just be honest and up front about it from the start and explain it how it was.. maybe you'll get in? It's easier to push forward once you get in and start working. It'll also save a lot of time if you're told from the start that they won't hire you if you have x, y and z.

    Good Luck!!
  • pLuhhmmpLuhhmm Member Posts: 146
    I killed a man would that hurt my chances of work?!
    Ever wonder what makes special sauce so special? YO!
  • astorrsastorrs Member Posts: 3,139 ■■■■■■□□□□
    pLuhhmm wrote:
    I killed a man would that hurt my chances of work?!
    icon_rolleyes.gif
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    Thacker wrote:
    It generally depends on the nature and degree of the misdemeanor. Battery would be considered a violent crime. Depending on the jurisdiction, the class of misdemeanor will have bearing. Background checks are more common when dealing with "sensitive" information. Lawyers are big on CYA. icon_cool.gif

    So is this a death sentence to my IT career?
    Only if you let it...

    Persevere. I have friends with much worse records and doing quite well. My son scored a felony conviction in his youth but he attends and works for University of New Mexico. You can overcome anything. Stick with it and you'll be fine.

    "Overcoming" sometimes has nothing to do with it.

    I had an "other than honorable" military discharge 13 years ago when I was young and stupid, and that blight still follows me like a shadow. I am a stellar citizen in every other way except for that, but that discharge is still keeping me from getting networking jobs. I was offered a $47k/yr job recently with fantastic benefits (and the job was just down the road!), then it was rescinded when they discovered the discharge. You would have thought I was a convicted felon.

    My advice is that you're going to have to be careful about what jobs you apply for, that they don't do deep investigation checks or have secret/top-secret clearance levels. You might also tell the HR person up front if the convictions will be a problem. If it's a temp agency, they'll tell you what you want to hear, since you're just fodder to them anyway (nothing against you - temp agencies are just bottom feeders).

    I hope you're able to find something. It may take you longer than the rest because of your record. You'll have to decide if you want to persist in spite of the possible frustrations you'll encounter in the months ahead.

    Good luck.

    I've heard of this, but I've never known of a specific case until I read yours. I always heard that anything other than an honorable discharge was very tough to shake.

    My personal opinion is that it is pointless to penalize people for the rest of their lives. Sometimes people screw up, sometimes they keep screwing up, but a lot of times people learn from their mistakes and live better lives.

    I'm not saying to free all the muderers; I just think that the penalty should fit the crime. Keeping people from getting jobs and improving their situation that have made mistakes and have demonstrated that they learned from those mistakes and lived a better life, seems counterintuitive to me. It's better to let these people make a contribution and be rewarded, than to encourage them to continue down a bad path to get what they need by declining to hire them...

    MS
  • CrunchyhippoCrunchyhippo Member Posts: 389
    eMeS wrote:
    Thacker wrote:
    It generally depends on the nature and degree of the misdemeanor. Battery would be considered a violent crime. Depending on the jurisdiction, the class of misdemeanor will have bearing. Background checks are more common when dealing with "sensitive" information. Lawyers are big on CYA. icon_cool.gif

    So is this a death sentence to my IT career?
    Only if you let it...

    Persevere. I have friends with much worse records and doing quite well. My son scored a felony conviction in his youth but he attends and works for University of New Mexico. You can overcome anything. Stick with it and you'll be fine.

    "Overcoming" sometimes has nothing to do with it.

    I had an "other than honorable" military discharge 13 years ago when I was young and stupid, and that blight still follows me like a shadow. I am a stellar citizen in every other way except for that, but that discharge is still keeping me from getting networking jobs. I was offered a $47k/yr job recently with fantastic benefits (and the job was just down the road!), then it was rescinded when they discovered the discharge. You would have thought I was a convicted felon.

    My advice is that you're going to have to be careful about what jobs you apply for, that they don't do deep investigation checks or have secret/top-secret clearance levels. You might also tell the HR person up front if the convictions will be a problem. If it's a temp agency, they'll tell you what you want to hear, since you're just fodder to them anyway (nothing against you - temp agencies are just bottom feeders).

    I hope you're able to find something. It may take you longer than the rest because of your record. You'll have to decide if you want to persist in spite of the possible frustrations you'll encounter in the months ahead.

    Good luck.

    I've heard of this, but I've never known of a specific case until I read yours. I always heard that anything other than an honorable discharge was very tough to shake.

    My personal opinion is that it is pointless to penalize people for the rest of their lives. Sometimes people screw up, sometimes they keep screwing up, but a lot of times people learn from their mistakes and live better lives.

    I'm not saying to free all the muderers; I just think that the penalty should fit the crime. Keeping people from getting jobs and improving their situation that have made mistakes and have demonstrated that they learned from those mistakes and lived a better life, seems counterintuitive to me. It's better to let these people make a contribution and be rewarded, than to encourage them to continue down a bad path to get what they need by declining to hire them...

    MS

    In the networking/security field --> Other Than Honorable = Misconduct = Dishonorable Discharge. No apparent differences when it comes to hiring contractors/government work.

    Pity. Sometimes past mistakes stay with you whether you want them to or not, or whether you feel they're deserved or not.
    "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." - Popular Mechanics, 1949
  • supertechCETmasupertechCETma Member Posts: 377
    Some lessons in life come harder than others... My Bad Conduct discharge (28 years ago) has presented certain "obstacles" over ythe years (I had a COSMIC clearance at the time). I avoid "high security" positions (not that I want them anyway). I have made a good career by positioning myself as a content expert in specific areas. I work in education. Advanced degrees help. Professional membership helps. Publication helps. Raise your profile in other areas and the "sensitive" positions are not as critical.

    Yes, you can overcome this. icon_cool.gif
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  • rcooprcoop Member Posts: 183
    I was recently on-site at a government/DOD location deploying my company's software. Everyone responsible for the environment, including the management were contractors or sub-contractors for other companies that had the gov't contract.

    This deployment took about three weeks (only two of which were on-site), but from the 1st, until the 3rd week, one of the techs that I was working with was let go, and it was based on his background check.

    When questioning one of his friends who got him the job, his employment was contingent based on his eligibility to get some type of gov't clearance, and he was let go due to bad credit report. It was explained to me that it was actually common for people not to make it for these positions due to past credit history (as it adds risk).

    Mind you, this wasn't for some "secret" clearance, and the network is so segmented and secured, his ability to do anything other than to the servers he was assigned to would have been minimal, and easily traceable back to him.

    This reinforces JDMurray's statements above, and is a good reason to be sensitive to what's on your credit report, and be careful with credit in general.

    I think background checks will become more and more prevalent for individuals performing contract IT work, and definitely if you are working for state, federal, military, and corporations that handle sensitive information and/or subject to government regulation (healthcare/HIPAA, insurance/financial, or mortgage/banking/SOX), as security in these areas continue to be a very high priority.

    Best Regards,
    --RCoop
    Working on MCTS:SQL Server 2005 (70-431) & Server+
  • Vassago68Vassago68 Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thacker wrote:
    It generally depends on the nature and degree of the misdemeanor. Battery would be considered a violent crime. Depending on the jurisdiction, the class of misdemeanor will have bearing. Background checks are more common when dealing with "sensitive" information. Lawyers are big on CYA. icon_cool.gif

    So is this a death sentence to my IT career?
    Only if you let it...

    Persevere. I have friends with much worse records and doing quite well. My son scored a felony conviction in his youth but he attends and works for University of New Mexico. You can overcome anything. Stick with it and you'll be fine.

    "Overcoming" sometimes has nothing to do with it.

    I had an "other than honorable" military discharge 13 years ago when I was young and stupid, and that blight still follows me like a shadow. I am a stellar citizen in every other way except for that, but that discharge is still keeping me from getting networking jobs. I was offered a $47k/yr job recently with fantastic benefits (and the job was just down the road!), then it was rescinded when they discovered the discharge. You would have thought I was a convicted felon.

    My advice is that you're going to have to be careful about what jobs you apply for, that they don't do deep investigation checks or have secret/top-secret clearance levels. You might also tell the HR person up front if the convictions will be a problem. If it's a temp agency, they'll tell you what you want to hear, since you're just fodder to them anyway (nothing against you - temp agencies are just bottom feeders).

    I hope you're able to find something. It may take you longer than the rest because of your record. You'll have to decide if you want to persist in spite of the possible frustrations you'll encounter in the months ahead.

    Good luck.

    Crunchy, you do realize that after 6 months you can petition to have it raised to a better discharge correct? Have you tried that? It's been 13 years. If your background is good since then, a lot of times they will raise it to a General discharge. 6 months after that you can petition again to get it raised again. If you are doing good things, it is possible to get it back to Honorable.

    Here is a link with the appropriate forms, and contact info to learn more about it. Correcting Military Service Records
  • Vassago68Vassago68 Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Some lessons in life come harder than others... My Bad Conduct discharge (28 years ago) has presented certain "obstacles" over ythe years (I had a COSMIC clearance at the time). I avoid "high security" positions (not that I want them anyway). I have made a good career by positioning myself as a content expert in specific areas. I work in education. Advanced degrees help. Professional membership helps. Publication helps. Raise your profile in other areas and the "sensitive" positions are not as critical.

    Yes, you can overcome this. icon_cool.gif

    So where abouts in your job or station did you work with NATO?
  • supertechCETmasupertechCETma Member Posts: 377
    submarine/satellite digital communications. I was a radioman in the advanced technical field. I did crypto. I was an Atlantic sailor. We did spy stuff. This was mid to late 70's. icon_cool.gif
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