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My current job is going out of business in a few months. I received and signed a job offer contingent on a satisfactory background check. I have no criminal background, but did not want to give notice to my current employer until the background check comes back. I reached out to the HR person about what paperwork is needed to get the ball rolling on the background check. I received an email reply back from HR stating for my position a background check is not required. Is it alright for me to give notice now?

marked as duplicate by The Wandering Dev Manager, keshlam, gnat, Rory Alsop, JasonJ Dec 19 '16 at 13:45

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  • Isn't this a duplicate if a recently asked question? The answer comes down to how sure you are about the new job and when the start date for that job is. – keshlam Dec 17 '16 at 23:08
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    @keshlam - this does seem familiar, especially the HR saying not required bit. – The Wandering Dev Manager Dec 17 '16 at 23:38
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These are the two key items:

I received and signed a job offer contingent on a satisfactory background check.

The written offer you have in hand is contingent on a background check. This is what you have in writing and you should treat its terms as valid and enforceable.

I received an email reply back from HR stating for my position a background check is not required.

Don't take HR's word for it; get it in writing:

  • A memo, to be signed by you and an authorized representative of the company, indicating that both of you abandon the previous offer.
  • A new offer with all of the same terms except the background check contingency.

This protects you against the risk of the company deciding at some future date that the background check should have been done and that because you didn't meet that contingency, you should no longer work there.

Unless it includes an actual contract, offers of employment aren't legally-binding documents. This gives you something to throw back at them if they try to let you go because of it and you still want to work there.

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    Depending on local laws, an official email sent by HR could be legally binding though. – Masked Man Dec 18 '16 at 2:57
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If you are not at the point where you know what your start date is, what location you are to report to, who is receiving you, what documents you are to bring with you on the first day including those documents that they want as proof of ID and proof that you are legally authorized to work at your locale, then you are not yet at the point where you are ready to give notice.

Remember, your employment contract with your new employer does not kick in until your first day of work, so you have to know what your first day of work is before it is safe for you to you give notice.

  • In the offer they informed me of my start day, who I report to, where to report, and what documents to bring – Tiffany Spencer Dec 18 '16 at 5:22
  • Then you are in good shape to give your two-weeks' notice. DON'T give any notice that's longer than two weeks. Because rescission of offers are much more likely to happen to you when you say give three months' notice than when you give two weeks' notice. – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 18 '16 at 6:44

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