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I'm planning on giving notice today, in anticipation of starting with new firm in two weeks. As usual, the new company will do a background check on me.

A month ago some woman in a daycare parking lot started shouting at me (she unexpectedly was parking rear-end-in, and she thought I was too close to her car). So I yelled back at her. Apparently she filed a police report because a cop in my town came to visit my house a week or two later.

There was no arrest, no fingerprints, no restraining order filed, etc.

I googled and a couple of legal sites which made it seem like this wouldn't come up on a typical background check, but I don't want to give notice and then find out I don't have a job.

Will this police report show up in my background check and if so what's the likelihood the new firm would rescind their job offer? I am in the tech sector in the USA.

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    What is the actual question here? I'm guessing something like "Will this show up in my background report and is the company likely to make a big issue out of it"? We like clear questions, so we can gave clear answers :) – Erik Aug 10 '18 at 12:49
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    Every interaction you have with a police officer will not show up in a background check. While I encourage you not to yell at people over something so ridiculous in the future, you have nothing to fear, because nothing came from the report. – Donald Aug 10 '18 at 15:52
  • I wish you were asking another question, "Should I give my notice before I have a formal offer from my new employer?" The hesitation you are feeling is appropriate. There are any number of reasons why your potential offer could fall through. Is there any reason why you can't wait and give your notice after you have a formal offer? – Lumberjack Aug 10 '18 at 16:24
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Don't give notice before the background check is complete. As long as there are conditions on getting the job, you can't safely put in notice with your old job unless you are willing to risk a period of unemployment.

Now onto your question.

With the background check you should have been given a document that explained what was entailed in the check. They should have given you the opportunity to alert them to known items that you would like to explain before they start the process.

Each company/job has different requirements regarding what they will look for, and what would cause a failure. It is unlikely that a visit by an officer would end up in anything that a background check would find. In criminal checks they generally are looking for tickets, convictions/pleas, and maybe being charged. Other types of checks: financial, job history have other rules.

  • +1, I can't stress the top portion of this enough. There was a total wait time of about 3 months from the time I got my job offer until I was actually working, due to the time of the background check. – RankoChan Sep 12 '18 at 19:08
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If you're starting in two weeks and that's your contracted notice period then you have no choice but to hope for the best.

Realistically unless you actually got charged I don't see how a background check without personal knowledge would find out you had a yelling match in a carpark.

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I'm planning on giving notice today, in anticipation of starting with new firm in two weeks. As usual, the new company will do a background check on me.

Don't give your notice unless you have a firm, formal offer. If they haven't yet performed a background check then you may wish to delay your start date. You never know what will show up in this check and you don't want to be without a job while you clear up any confusion.

Will this police report show up in my background check and if so what's the likelihood the new firm would rescind their job offer?

If the police just talked to you, then there is no record and thus nothing to show on a background check.

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    police document everything, every contact. If a cop came to your house to meet with you, you can be virtually 100% certain there's a record of the encounter. I agree there's nothing to worry about as it's not a criminal matter, but to say there's "no record" of all investigation activity is misleading. – dandavis Aug 11 '18 at 8:31
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    I'm sure everyone has a record with the police at some point in their life. That doesn't mean it is searchable by someone. It has to be entered into a database somewhere for someone to search. Otherwise they have to file a FOIA/PII request with the police/city in question and wait for any potential records to come back. In this situation with the OP, the only thing that would come back is that someone got into a argument with him. Does that mean your life is over now? Very, very, very doubtful since there's no way to tell if the OP is at fault or a crime was committed. – Dan Aug 11 '18 at 17:15
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As far as I know a criminal background check only shows what you were found guilty of, or convicted of. Basically what you had to go to court for and you had to plead your case. If you had to answer to a court summon, went to court, pleaded that you are innocent of whatever crimes, then they booked it in the system that you were found innocent of X (whatever crime X is), then that would show on the background check.

I say wait for the background check to come back. Also, what did the police say? Was he simply there to get your side of the story? Was the lady looking to file charges against you? Sue you?

It sounds unusual that the police waited a few weeks to check on it. I say you don't have to worry about anything and they were simply following up on a complaint. It is America and unfortunately, anyone can file any report or take you to court for any tiny thing. That doesn't mean it's going to stick or that you did anything wrong.

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Agree with all the other answers here, particularly about not handing in your notice without a firm offer. You need to protect yourself first and foremost.

In your case I doubt that incident would show up, but it's worth noting that a background check which returns something will not necessarily bar you from a job. I was involved in a recruitment process a while ago and a background check of our preferred candidate actually turned up a conviction for a violent crime and brief jail time; after a very candid conversation with the candidate we decided that actually, given the circumstances of the incident, we would hire them despite that. That was a particularly relaxed organisation, but if you were the best candidate for a job and that simple altercation in a car park was the only thing to come back on your background check I wouldn't think twice.

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