After taking my drug test and background check I was told I was clear to workl I even put on my application about my 2 charges in detail and dates.

He asked when I wanted to start, and I told him I will speak with my current employer and start immediately. Now, being that he was very clear that I was cleared of any issues in the hiring process, I left my job with a short notice and started the new one the next morning.

At the end of the day, I asked, "do I come in tomorrow?". He said, "your background is flagged to hold off working until it gets figured out." I said "that's not good! You told me I was clear, and I already left my job because of what you guys told me!"

I am close friends with a settlement claims person, and she states this is somewhat illegal in the form of how this had come about.

Being that I have been currently sitting at home now with neither job for a week and getting the run around from the man who has put me in a very bad situation, he claims the district manager is involved and so is the head HR manager, trying to bypass this problem. A few days ago, I was told it wasn't clear and that they were going to get a waiver or exception for this problem.

What can I do here? I was told a lie, and I have two people that heard him tell me I was clear, and I can start immediately while I had my phone on speaker. I don't want to call his corporate office and get him in trouble, being he seems to be on my side and doing everything to help aka "cover himself", but I'm still in a tough situation.

  • 12
    While I sympathize with your situation and feel you've been wronged, I have to say that we're not lawyers here (well I'm not and expect that the vast majority of us aren't), and it's probably best for you to see a professional. Furthermore, according to the FAQ, legal questions are outside the scope of the site. Best of luck!
    – GreenMatt
    Nov 26, 2012 at 4:07
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    Hello! Welcome to the Workplace! I edited your post to clean it up a bit. I'm not sure we can help with the legal aspects, but I think we can help you with some general non-legal advice on how to proceed. Hope the edits help.
    – jmort253
    Nov 26, 2012 at 6:13
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    Thanks for the edit. I am frustrated over this mess created,and typing on my cell did not work out so great. Anyways any suggestions that i dont already know ? Is there anything i can do any body in Human Resorces with a opinion about this ? Nov 26, 2012 at 8:06
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    I assume this is United States? Nov 26, 2012 at 15:41
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    You're being totally screwed. If it doesn't work out for you, you ought to talk to a lawyer.
    – Fernando
    Nov 26, 2012 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


Background checks typically take a while to process, usually longer than when a company needs you to start work, although many of these jobs have language that specifically states that they have the right to discontinue employment for any negative reason based on the results of the background check.

At my current job after a drug test and background check, I actually started working for a week before my background check came back. Had there been any criminal charges I would likely have been let go on the spot.

This is the unfortunate world we live in as this kind of practice is becoming more and more common in the US lately. Corporations are increasingly less likely to give anybody with prior criminal charges a chance of any kind so don't be terribly surprised that this happened to you, although your case is a bit different.

It sounds as if your direct hiring contact completely forgot that you disclosed your prior charges up front and gave you false information about the outcome of your background check. Corporate saw the results and decided against you and he is trying to fix the situation to avoid getting in trouble himself.

I think knowing this it is certainly a good idea to talk to a lawyer who specializes in employment law because while I don't think they maliciously lied to you, it sounds like they were negligent.

  • thanks guys all this helps. I have brought all documents to him and everything i disclosed matches up Nov 26, 2012 at 18:01
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    @wethepeople Just keep in mind that HR doesn't exist for your benefit, they exist for the companies benefit. Nov 26, 2012 at 18:46
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    @wethepeople, like maple_shaft has aptly stated, you don't have an ally in HR if you don't work for them. Lawyer up sir.
    – kolossus
    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:58
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    And as advice for next time - stick with your current job until the background check clears, just to be sure. If they can't get it back fast enough, that's their problem. In this particular case, though, you're going to need a lawyer
    – Jon Story
    Dec 7, 2014 at 18:28
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    @JonStory But they told him that it did clear. Surely you don't suggest refusing to start work after you've been told your background check has cleared out of suspicion that it secretly still has not actually cleared? Apr 26, 2018 at 8:06

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