I have recently been offered an engineering job with a silicon valley tech company, contingent upon a pending background check. Everything seemed fine until they ran a background check. It turned up a 5 year old traffic violation for driving without insurance. I had completely forgotten about this and was surprised to find this on the background report. I was never arrested or imprisoned or appeared in court, simply paid a 250 dollar fine. I learnt just now that the offense is classified as a misdemeanor in that state. I haven't been contacted by the company on this matter yet, I just got the background check report from the reporting firm a couple of days ago. I would also add that I don't remember answering any background related questions at any point during the application process.

My questions are as follows:

1) Do you think companies might take back job offers for something like this. My job is related to software and does not involve driving.

2) What is my best course of action right now? Should I proactively follow up with the company myself or stay put until they say something? (I have to give my two week notice to my current employer soon)

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    As you indicated, this must be something really specific to a state (therefore also a country: US) and to a company. However I dont think all tech companies take those things as something negative – DarkCygnus Jul 26 '17 at 22:29
  • I think this is company specific but I'm not sure. Maybe you could ask someone else who works there? – AffableAmbler Jul 26 '17 at 22:30
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    If a company would decline you for a misdemeanor they have rally limited the skill pool. You might want to ask before you put in your notice. – paparazzo Jul 26 '17 at 22:40
  • @swiftwork Surely they told you when they'd contact you for final confirmation / rescinding of the offer? Until they do that you should proceed as if you don't have a job offer which means you can't give notice until they confirm that you "passed" the background check. And while I find the idea to rescind an offer over this to be entirely laughable, we lack the crystal ball needed to read your hiring manager's mind and there's no real way to answer the general question. – Lilienthal Jul 27 '17 at 7:59

I don't think most employers would care if you committed a small misdemeanor like that. I've violated an ordinance or two in my day and seem to get employed just fine.

Don't say anything. It would come across as paranoid. If they do bring it up, explain the circumstances, but don't make a big deal of it. As always, until you accept the offer, continue your job search. Congrats on the offer!

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  • Thank you for the answer, I have already accepted the offer. The background check process was kicked off after the offer acceptance. I am confused now whether I should put down my notice with the current employer. – swiftwork Jul 26 '17 at 23:44
  • When is your start date? Obviously you should put in your notice 2 weeks before that, or more. – 2rs2ts Jul 27 '17 at 0:01
  • Yes, timing is the really tricky part. I should put my notice in by next week to start on the agreed date. I just don't want to be caught up in a situation where I put down my notice and the new company takes back the offer after that. – swiftwork Jul 27 '17 at 0:08
  • I think the chances of that happening are slim. If it does happen, just find another job. But I bet it won't happen. – 2rs2ts Jul 27 '17 at 0:14
  • @swiftwork I've said it above as well, but you cannot give notice until they've confirmed your offer. Contact them asap, but if they can't confirm yet the delay is on them. – Lilienthal Jul 27 '17 at 8:00

No. Maybe they'd care about a DUI, but probably not even that if you're in recovery. Your violation doesn't effect your ability to work and doesn't show major failures in judgement or honesty. They're looking for felonies- theft, embezzlement, murder, rape, assault. Misdemeanors don't matter, traffic violation definitely don't. Who doesn't have a speeding ticket or two in their history? All failure to have insurance means is you were broke.

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  • Thank you for the answer. I wouldn't normally be worried for traffic tickets, my research showed that most traffic violations such as speeding are only considered as infractions, not misdemeanors and hence won't show up on background check. I am only worried that they might be put off by seeing misdemeanor. – swiftwork Jul 27 '17 at 3:50

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