I started a new job: they gave me a letter offer and everything, I waited for the background check to clear, HR gave me the start date; I asked if the background check came back, and she stated that my start date was to be Monday Jan. 31st 2022.

So I put my two weeks notice in at my old job and started this one. About half way through the second day, the HR manger pulled me into the office and said there was a problem with my background and she jumped the gun.

Now I might not have the job any longer after I quit my old job and started this one: is there anything I can do since this is their fault?

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    Have you tried to call your former boss at your previous company ? Maybe, they still want to take you back if they have not hired anyone else to replace you yet. Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 3:20
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    Could you clarify two things? Why might you have failed the background check (not necessarily details, but whether you did the thing or not)? What does "might not have the job" mean? More frank input means better quality responses. Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 5:23
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    it's not the company's fault that you failed the background check. Your intended startdate may have been the 31st, but no doubt the contract stated explicitly that it was dependent on the results of the background check.
    – jwenting
    Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 12:40
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    It is definitely the company's fault if they give you a firm offer, and let you start working, before they are happy with your background. Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 15:49
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    Please add a country tag. I would guess you are somewhere in the US? If so, please also name your state, since employment law seems to be state-dependent. Do you have a notice period or even a written contract?
    – nvoigt
    Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 16:02

3 Answers 3


Call your old boss immediately and see if your old job is still available. You currently work for a bad company who cannot do basic tasks like background checks correctly.

Did they elaborate on what the problem with the background check was? You don’t have to tell us, but if you don’t know of anything that would raise a red flag it’s worth asking some clarifying questions.

If you want to try and keep your job, Go to your boss and let them go to bat for you. You said you’d already passed the background check, so something is up. Let your new boss guide you on this. Cc any communication with HR to your personal email.


If you have an idea of why you failed the background check, adding that information would help. Less information = less helpful answer. Change your screen-name if you want, but more info = better.

No matter what I'd you did everything right by checking before turning in notice.


In retrospect you should have asked explicitly if the background check had comeback. They may also be incompetent, and would have told you it was completed when it wasn't (and yes, I've seen this happen).

I'm also assuming you filled out the background check forms accurately to the best of your knowledge. If you have something like a DUI on your record we can tailor our answer for that. If you're genuinely in the dark, then that would be a completely different answer.

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    Sounds like the author's background didn't actually come back, and the hiring official, perhaps jumped the gun based on their assumption the background check completed by Jan 31. I am of course reading between what's been typed, and knowing that backgrounds at this level, often have an ETC date connected to them. The fact the author indicated there was a problem with the background tells me there is more to that part of the story. The author's best bet is attempt to address the concerns on the background check, get a new start date, and learn form the experience.
    – Donald
    Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 19:54
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    @JoeStrazzere - because companies have bad HR reps. "Through sheer incompetence" is probably a better phrase. Changed. Commented Feb 3, 2022 at 16:38

Now I might not have the job any longer after I quit my old job and started this one: is there anything I can do since this is their fault?

What you can do is wait to see what actually happens.

No need to jump the gun quite yet. You might still have the job.


This isn't their fault, it's your fault

You chose to quit a job before everything was ready at the new one. You can grovel back to the old one or try to see what happens at the new one, but this is a problem of your making. When you ask a question, don't accept the answer to a different question as the answer you were looking for.

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    If a company gives you a formal offer and a start date, and lets you start to work for them then the fact that they then changed their mind after you started is not your fault. Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 15:46
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    OP Stated they checked with new company before turning in their notice. Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 15:54
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    I sort of agree with this if the OP knew that there was something in the background that would cause a problem. Most people who don't have anything in their background probably wouldn't ask if it cleared since they know it would.
    – Dan
    Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 17:36

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