I'm a senior in college and recently landed my dream job. Part of the process is a background check that includes employment verification. I had an internship for 2 summers at a Fortune 500 company, but the second summer, had to leave after less than 2 weeks due to a health issue. I made the mistake of leaving early one day because I wasn't feeling well at all, and because the internship was hourly, I figured I'd just enter my short hours for that day.

Obviously, that was a terrible decision and it ended up being an issue with my boss and HR, who seemed to be assuming I was trying to fudge my hours. I resigned that day citing my health issues (which I was going to do anyway), and proceeded to get a couple of surgeries to rectify things. I did not include this experience on my resume, only the previous summer's.

Because these internships were at the same company, when the new employer attempts to verify my employment (both employers use 3rd party services to do so), they will definitely see that I was at the old company for less than 2 weeks last summer. This will likely lead to questions, and they may ask to speak to my former boss to verify that I left due to health issues. I am extremely worried about what else my boss might say - specifically about leaving early and questioning my integrity. I omitted this experience from the background check form as well.

I'm planning to either let my new employer ahead of time that they might see this and explain the situation, or else wait to see if they bring it up and explain things. However, I would rather not disclose my medical records/the nature of the issue - so how do I back up my claims?

  • It was just one time and with valid medical reasons (given you can back up that claim), so I would not worry much about it. The only thing you can do is to wait and see if they bring the subject. If they do, answer honestly; you did nothing unprofessional here (perhaps you could have called in sick before leaving that day). However, I doubt this may be an issue or brought to conversation, as it was a unique situation with valid conditions. – DarkCygnus Nov 28 '17 at 3:37
  • Would the new employer potentially ask for my medical records to back it up? I would rather not disclose those... – user3638949 Nov 28 '17 at 3:43
  • @user3638949: Location matters here. In the USA that would be illegal. – NotMe Nov 28 '17 at 21:35
  • It sounds like you could have some good use for Carnegie's book, How to stop worrying and start living. I'm re-reading at this given moment, well this time I'm listening to the Audible audio-book version of it. It can, and has been, a live saver. – Jonast92 Nov 29 '17 at 12:41
  • Funny enough, I read that book just a few months ago. Maybe you're right and I need a re-read... – user3638949 Nov 29 '17 at 15:02

You should try and relax. It's completely out of your hands at this point so worrying about it is pointless. Either they will question it or they won't.

I'm assuming (probably a bad idea) that this is in the USA. If so, it's highly unlikely your former boss will actually be contacted. The 3rd party service will contact the HR department, verify employment dates and salary. Then they will pass that information onto the new company. It's also unlikely the old company's HR department will say anything about health issues as any company big enough to have an HR department should know that is private information they have no business passing around.

At worst they will tell them you were there for 2 weeks the second summer and quit. They might be asked if you were eligible for rehire at which point the old company would either say yes or no. That's about it.

In the future - save yourself some trouble and tell someone if you need to leave early.


I assume you can backup your story with evidence of the surgeries and health issue. So, in the remote case that they should ask questions and your former manager should have somehow badmouthed you, it's his word against your paper evidence.

I see no big deal. Relax and just take as lesson learned for the next time.

  • What if I'd prefer not to disclose my medical records and the nature of the issue? If I'm not requesting accommodation and it has no impact on my ability to do the job due to the corrective nature of the steps taken, why should I have to give them more information? I'd be ok with the new employer simply confirming with the old one the reason why I left. – user3638949 Nov 28 '17 at 15:02
  • 2
    You don't have to fully disclose your medical records. Just mention that it was due to medical reason, and you may provide further details and proofs if really needed. – L.Dutch Nov 28 '17 at 16:10

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