• Employer offered a job that required relocation and a background check
  • I had been through background checks in the past and had no issues.
  • A few weeks after providing my consent for the check, they've sent a signed contract and a start date
  • I signed the contract and begun the process on my end - quitting my job, packing, etc
  • Arrived in the new location, all supported, organized and funded by the employer
  • A day before my start date, I was told the background check had not been completed
  • After 2 weeks of wait time, I was told the issue was with my education, which has been understood incorrectly by the background check team. I've corrected the record, essentially explaining what they interpreted incorrectly.
  • They explained they check itself failed, despite what I said, but regardless, anything else on the report was has been positive.
  • I haven't spoken to the hiring manager or the recruiter, but I don't know what to expect, what my rights are especially considering the circumstances

closed as off-topic by gnat, scaaahu, Jim G., Jenny D, jmoreno Jan 1 at 17:09

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  • 1
    Where are you? If you're asking about legal rights, knowing what country (and potentially state) laws apply is important. I assume that the "they" in "they explained the check itself failed" is the background check firm. When did this happen and why haven't you talked with the hiring manager? – Justin Cave Dec 15 '18 at 0:03
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    I'm not in the US, but in the EU. I can't be too specific just in case :) – Milo Dec 15 '18 at 0:04
  • Also, the check was perfomed by a 3rd party, and then by an internal team – Milo Dec 15 '18 at 0:04
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    "the EU" is pretty broad- different countries will have different rules (and if you moved between countries, that may complicate things as well). I understand that you want to remain anonymous but specifying a country would help (or edit the question so that you're not talking about rights, but how to keep the job). – Justin Cave Dec 15 '18 at 0:19
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    @JustinCave absolutely - my question is a combination of things: 1. rights (or maybe what are some guidelines if you take examples from places where employee rights are considered the highest) 2. what to expect? is this 100% going backward on the offer? my contract had already been signed by both parties and I've relocated – Milo Dec 15 '18 at 0:27

You need to get legal advice.

  • There is a signed contract of employment.
  • Now they need to formally end your contract if they wish to.

They might actually be waiting for a NEW background check and this will blow over or they might decide not to employ you.

You uprooted your life because you're now employed by the new company.
They should have waited for the check to pass, instead they decided not to wait.

All this strengthens your position.

See if the contract mentions a probation period depending on a positive background check outcome (post signature date) and if the contracts validity is linked to the background check in any way (I doubt it for both).

You might be entitled to restitution based on the location.

However, since they paid everything it might only be your loss of salary for the time since you left your old company and a few weeks or months until you find new employment.

Get in touch with the company and offer to clarify any still possibly existing misunderstandings.

Make sure you fullfill all requirements laid out in the job post, the hiring process and the contract and present it to the lawyer.

  • 1
    to add to your points: The job offer did include a background check clause. They sent me the contract though 2-3 weeks after the process started. The contract does not include anything about the background check. Correct, they should have waited if this was an issue. The relocation and the dates were all suggested by them. I have not spoken to the recuriter yet (it's too late on Friday now) and so I am only making assumptions right now in terms of the offer. I wanted to know what the likely outcome is. – Milo Dec 15 '18 at 0:39
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    There is a probation period, but nothing mentioning a background check or validity related. They paid some of the things. I have paid some of my interviewing expenses which they had promised to pay back and have not (yet) Also, I have not been working since October as a result, and there is no guarantee I am going to find a job right away. How am I going to explain this, as well, especially with such a gap? – Milo Dec 15 '18 at 0:39
  • Keep in mind, you don't pass or fail a background check. The merely provide information to the requester. You might want to inquire with compliance if having the school directly forward transcripts or other appropriate documentation would be helpful. – Johns-305 Dec 15 '18 at 0:44
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    @Milo the contract is the most important document. if it doesn't mention a background check it only strengthens your position further.It will depend on the law of the country how this goes for you but I think if it comes to them ending your contract you might be entitled to some form of compensation.A general note, paying for interviewing expenses is a bad idea.If they require documents that you can use elsewhere that's different but travel costs for instance should ideally be paid by the interviewer upfront.Inform the recruiter as well, it's in their interest that you remain hired too. – DigitalBlade969 Dec 15 '18 at 0:48
  • With regards to travel expenses - they did book everything for me. I meant daily expenses they have committed to pay back, a hotel reservation they had made but I was charged for (which they had admitted was a problem and they would pay back) – Milo Dec 15 '18 at 0:52

You need to talk the hiring manager and the recruiter as soon as possible. You should have done that two weeks ago, after the first indication that the background check is delayed.

You need to be clear about your desired outcome is. I assume it is "clear that up and start working at the new job as soon as possible". If it's something else like "I want to get paid for my troubles and move back home", then please state so.

Chances are this is a screw up of the background check company and your new employer is still interested in having you work for them. The employer can help clearing this up (since they pay the background checkers) and help with any assistance that you may need in the meantime. If they do NOT want to help, than it's time to reconsider the situation, but chances are they will help.

I'd be careful with engaging legal help: good lawyers are hard to find and it's difficult to tell if one is good or not. Lawyers typically benefit from escalating or overstating the severeness of a situation. They will give you legally correct advice but maybe not advice on what's the most practical and efficient to resolve your issue. Any hint of legal action can seriously damage the relationship with your new employer and jeopardize your new career. I would first try to save your new job by constructively engaging your employer.

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