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Old 07-31-2013, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
8,821 posts, read 13,321,929 times
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Couldn't the OP's friend get such a minor and old offense expunged?

Personally I'd be more hard-line if the offense was a DUI. DUI can result in death of both the offender and bystanders.

 
Old 07-31-2013, 10:48 AM
 
7,672 posts, read 9,942,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm2008 View Post
There's nothing shady about answering do you have a felony, with the truth. I mean a misdemeanor is not a felony and there is not a subtle difference and obviously the author of a question knew that before they asked it. If the employer was going to disqualify her for a misdemeanor then they should have made that clear on the application. It's a shame that such stupidity will put this person in the situation.
We will have to agree to disagree then. As I posted before, just because the right question wasn't asked, doesn't mean she gets a pass. She knew a background check was going to be done as she has to by law sign a document giving them permission. Every permission form I ever signed always asked if there is something that should be disclosed. If hers didn't, then she should have asked about her own offense. An employer can only ask so many questions in a variety of ways. Sometimes you just need to own up to it.
 
Old 07-31-2013, 11:18 AM
 
1,263 posts, read 2,775,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
to be fair, the OP didn't say she stole $300 worth of merchandise - they said she was convicted of petty theft, which is defined as stealing less than $300 worth of merchandise. so it could have been $15.

i don't think a misdemeanor theft conviction is nothing, but one incident followed by 8 years of clean record is not such a big deal.
Good point - I misremembered it as a $300 theft.
 
Old 07-31-2013, 11:21 AM
 
10,604 posts, read 14,229,316 times
Reputation: 17204
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_contrary View Post
As far as I know, it didn't come up in the interview. And on her job form, I'm pretty sure it only asked if she was convicted of a felony.

Also, since she left her last place I don't think she'd be eligible for unemployment.
NOPE. You have to sign permission to have a background check. Just like you have to sign permission for a credit check. They can even include asking you to disclose if you had a conviction under a conditional discharge. She's scamming YOU.

Also they don't ask only "felonies". Maybe that WAS one question but I would bet anything it wasn't the ONLY question.

Depending on the state things vary, too. In NJ, for example there is no terminology "felony" or "misdemeanor". The same crime can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the degree. For example, Petit Larceny, is a misdemeanor if the dollar amount of the stolen goods is relatively low. If the the value of the property rises above a certain dollar value, the crime may be considered felony.

She's not even allowed in Canada now. This is no small thing for a company. And if you think data entry is not a risky job for an employer you'd be wrong.

They are NOT going to just ask about felonies since the whole country knows that there is not always a differentiation in the law using the term FELONY.

She needs to go get her record expunged if she qualifies.
 
Old 07-31-2013, 11:34 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,173 posts, read 20,527,955 times
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Getting an expungment will cost at least $1000, or at least that's the going rate in TX right now. A lot of that is court fees, so even if you get the forms and do the paperwork yourself, it's still not cheap.
 
Old 07-31-2013, 11:34 AM
 
5,920 posts, read 6,735,077 times
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So....

She needs to go plead her case with the prospective employer. Quickly. We are all human, and if there is a mea culpa presentation to be had with an understanding person, now is the time. It's been eight years, I was stupid, blah, blah, blah.

Next, she needs to see a lawyer and spend the $1,000 to get the record expunged.

In there somewhere she probably needs to go crawling back to her former employer, but that isn't going to be easy given the circumstances.

I wish to point out two things: behaviors have consequences. That doesn't happen much in our society. But it is still there, and you never know when something will come up and bite you. Generally it is something which you don't expect, or even perceive to be an issue.

Second, I hired a guy--professional position, six figure salary--and when the background check came back he had a misdemeanor assault conviction pop up. Turns out he got in a bar fight some years ago.

As the boss, I had to 'talk' with him about it, if for no other reason than to cover my a$$. As the employee, he was mortified. But we had our chat, I was satisfied that it wasn't an ongoing problem, and we moved on. It was never discussed ever again, and he was a good employee.

I handled it professionally, but also with a degree of human understanding. Turns out years later I was accused by my ex wife-- as part of her divorce strategy-- of all sorts of heinous things. You swallow hard, call your boss right away, and put it right out front. It is NOT an easy conversation. But everyone moved on and it didn't affect my career. (And when the judge asked my ex wife to present her case....well...there was silence. Charges dismissed. But it goes to show you that anyone can be charged with anything).
 
Old 07-31-2013, 11:41 AM
 
1,263 posts, read 2,775,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tekkie View Post
I think stealing is despicable. Honestly, if it were one of my friends who stole something from me, I'd likely never talk to them again.

This specific case is regarding someone's ability to earn a living. You are making a big assumption about this woman based on what she stole. First off, I believe the OP mentioned that the item she stole was under $300. We don't even know what it was she stole. That does not excuse the behavior, however, it is an important detail that should be noted. This woman has one (official) strike against her from this theft that occurred almost a decade ago. I think she should be judged on what we do know rather than what we don't know. If this is continual occurrence with her, then she needs to go to jail and be rehabilitated if possible. But that again is based on an assumption that we don't know for sure.

I believe in 2nd chances. I'll give this woman the benefit of the doubt since she only has one offense and it happened nearly a decade ago. She should at least be allowed to earn a living and put food on the table. If she continues to steal, then she will make her living behind bars like the rest of our repeat offenders.
No, I specifically said "in general" and made a note that I wasn't necessarily talking about her. Shoplifters generally start small and commit multiple thefts before reaching hundreds of dollars, per store detectives I've spoken to...but there will always be an exception.

But employers do have to make assumptions when they hire, and that goes for all traits. Everyone describes themselves as hardworking and intelligent. No one says, "I'm lazy, dishonest and whiny, hire me!" Employers do the best they can when reviewing applicants, but it's still a guessing game.

This specific care is not about her being "allowed to earn a living", but about one particular employer deciding not to hire her. That employer obviously thought they could find a different applicant without theft convictions, and they chose to go that route. They just weren't comfortable hiring her.

It's not this individual employer's problem that she decided to steal; he's not responsible for her behavior. This individual employer said, "No thanks, I'll hire someone with a clean record." That's his/her/their right as a business owner.

She has obviously found other employers willing to hire her since she had a job she quit 2 weeks ago. She's been earning a living for years. Some individual employers will take the chance on her, and good for them! I hope she finds one soon.

I wish her the best of luck. But I won't condemn any particular employer for saying "no thanks" either.
 
Old 07-31-2013, 11:52 AM
 
1,263 posts, read 2,775,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
Getting an expungment will cost at least $1000, or at least that's the going rate in TX right now. A lot of that is court fees, so even if you get the forms and do the paperwork yourself, it's still not cheap.
It will be cheaper in the long run than having a conviction on your record. I suspect it will get more difficult in the future to find good jobs with a criminal record...

More and more employers are looking at studies that say people with low impulse control are generally* worse employees in terms of absenteeism and workplace injury/carelessness.

That's why the employment screening "personality tests" have all those weird questions that seem unrelated to employment - it's trying to screen out people who don't think of the consequences of their actions or can't resist temptation.

There are tons of studies showing that convicted criminals* have (on average) lower impulse control and worse future orientation than non-convicted criminals. Remember the longitudinal study that showed kindergarderners who can't resist temptations are must more likely to end up in prison as adults?

[* once again, this is speaking generally of group averages, not particular individuals]

Last edited by LOL_Whut; 07-31-2013 at 12:02 PM..
 
Old 07-31-2013, 12:11 PM
 
1,203 posts, read 1,056,588 times
Reputation: 847
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_contrary View Post
One of my friends was offered a new job, so she went ahead and submitted her two weeks notice at her current place and managed a week off between jobs. Her last day was Friday. The company ran a background check after they gave the offer, and because my friend has a misdemeanor from 8 years ago, they revoked her offer - less than a week before she was supposed to begin.

Is there anything she can do? The misdemeanor is regarding a petty theft (under $300) in a different state and she feels really stupid about it. If she can't get her old job back, she'll be SOL. And what kind of company runs a background check AFTER proposing an offer?
If it is an 'At Will' state, the company doesn't have to hire her; Nor does her old employer have to take her back.

As a person who is a hiring manager, I would not hire a thief, regardless if the offense was only a misdemeanor or occurred 8 years ago.
 
Old 07-31-2013, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Arizona
5,510 posts, read 6,146,068 times
Reputation: 7288
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattOTAlex View Post
If it is an 'At Will' state, the company doesn't have to hire her; Nor does her old employer have to take her back.

As a person who is a hiring manager, I would not hire a thief, regardless if the offense was only a misdemeanor or occurred 8 years ago.
At will state or not, nobody has to hire anyone (please don't turn this into a debate about protected classes, that's not what I'm talking about) and no employer has to rehire someone who resigned.

It would be nice of the prior employer to rehire her, but why would they? They now know she was seeking other employment.
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