1. Currently doing contract work for a remote company.
  2. I received a written offer for a new position at different company, signed it and returned it.
  3. A condition of employment is a background check (for PCI compliance).
  4. I will not pass the background check.
  5. The reason I will not pass has nothing to do with the PCI requirements (IMO), it is unrelated to any financial fraud or malfeasance.
  6. But it is a felony conviction.
  7. I was up-front and notified the hiring manager what to expect, including the nature of my offense. I gave him the opportunity to rescind the offer right then & there, he said to just fill out the form and return it and he will discuss it with his HR when the results come back.

My dilema is what to do regarding my current contract? Do I give give notice ASAP only to have the job offer retracted or do I not say anything until the last minute? My scheduled start date is the Monday after Thanksgiving so the time frame is already compressed. Another factor is that I don't know how long the background check will take.

The people I'm working with on the current contract are really great, I don't want to be a dick to them even though I hate the job itself. My contract does not stipulate any minimum notice time.

The new position is with a company that I had really admired for quite some time. I wasn't actively seeking any work but the opportunity presented itself, I was actually surprised when I got the offer.

These are all US companies. I and the new company reside in a state that has 'banned the box' and I answered all questions on the application truthfully.

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Job offer contingent on background check: when to give notice? Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 20:10
  • 1
    How can I negotiate a reduced notice period? Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 20:12
  • It's a pretty terrible idea to accept a job offer where the start date is such that you can't give full notice after they make the offer and all contingencies have been positively resolved, especially when you believe one of them might not be (although I can't imagine a background check can fail if the potential employer knows the questionable thing, unless they specifically want it to - AFAIK a background check is there to make sure you're telling the truth, not to validate you on some objective moral terms). Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 20:16
  • 1
    he will discuss it with his HR when the results come back How do you know what his HR is going to say? I would play safe if I were you, i.e. wait until the background check is okay and they tell you when to start and then you give the notice.
    – Nobody
    Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 4:44

1 Answer 1


Until you have an written offer with zero contingencies, you don't have an offer that you can use to trigger notifying your current company. A background check is a contingency, because they can still decide not to hire you.

Once they have removed in writing all contingencies, then you can tell your current employer and start the notice period. Doing so prior to the removal of the contingency means that you could end up unemployed.

The banning the box only allows you to get past the initial stages of the hiring process, it doesn't mean that they must hire with a felony conviction.

Based on the dates you provided: estimated starting date of 27 November and today's date of 11 November, if they get back to you on Monday you can still give two weeks notice, although for many places that would make your last day Wednesday the 22nd or only 8 days of work post notice.

Reasonable employers know that delays in background checks delay the hiring process, because they know you can't tell your current boss without the solid written offer. So unless they have a reason for needing you by that date, and unless they have another candidate ready to go, they may have to accept a slip of a week or two.

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