My candidate just accepted an offer and is now filling out paperwork for company records. The application asks to check a box if ever convicted or pled guilty to a felony or misdemeanor. Two years ago my candidate plead guilty to his first DWI however he was never convicted and it never went on his record. He pled guilty, the judge witheld judgement, candidate did a class, and now two years has past and it just gets erased.

What would you do in this situation? I have thought to discuss it with my client and then advise my candidate based on what they recommend. Please share what your experiences have been. Maybe clients really are not seeking slight imperfections in this question rather the great big things like 2nd and 3rd offenses????

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Fist rule of thumb when filling out an official application: Tell The Truth! Most companies have a no tolerance policy when it comes to falsifying any kind of documentation or paperwork - especially an application.

Many, many, many people have DWI in their background and I have not seen a company overlook someone based on that reason alone.

Honesty is encouraged here. If they find out later and then review the application to see if he lied - and he did - he will most likely be terminated.

(this answer sponsered by over 22 years in the staffing industry.....)
Absolutely. Honesty isn't only the moral thing to do, it is the simplest as well: If your candidate lies he may go to work worried someone is going to find out, which is stress not needed in a new job.

Secondly, it doesn't matter what your client is looking for in that question, do you think they'll ever use you again if they find out you knew?

Jerry Albright said:
Fist rule of thumb when filling out an official application: Tell The Truth! Most companies have a no tolerance policy when it comes to falsifying any kind of documentation or paperwork - especially an application.

Many, many, many people have DWI in their background and I have not seen a company overlook someone based on that reason alone.

Honesty is encouraged here. If they find out later and then review the application to see if he lied - and he did - he will most likely be terminated.

(this answer sponsered by over 22 years in the staffing industry.....)
Here we go......

So what are they supposed to do here Karen? Lay out all the employment statutes thus proving "Hey - I don't have to answer this question!"? Is that what you recommend? Or should they just lie on the app because the "law" says they don't have to disclose it?

I really have a hard time seeing or understanding what business you are in. I'm all about discussion and everyone throwing their thoughts in though. Just trying to get a picture on what you do for a living. (not that any law says you have to disclose or not disclose thus exposing the privacy or lack thereof to the exact (vs. alleged) nature of your completely-by-the-letter-of-the-law (employment laws at least) work.

Love and kisses,
Jerry

KarenM said:
the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge, or conviction, the records of which have been erased - In most states.. determine his state law - see the following https://www.unionbank.com/Images/State-Specific_Disclosure_Limitati...
I am completely against this advice from Karen if it results in him withholding this information. I for one think its better to deal with the devil you know then the devil you don't. But if your candidate really does want to withhold this information, maybe you should do a background check to see what comes up to cover your bases.

KarenM said:
Tell the guy the truth, and give him the options, and more than likely if the company is a fortune 50 or really smart, it will have that information on the Application Form as required by the state law.
And it aint a lie if it is expunged,removed, erased, nixed, off, disappeared,gone, poof.. (hope that covers all the semantics --- from the record. it means it no longer exists to the public for access or disclosure. Jerry, I am in the H.R business, which means that the H.R laws apply to me.. The same that apply to any company.. funny how successful I have been as a recruiter..

actually, funnny how successful companies were before having all this info at their fingertips.. dang, how did IBM or Microsoft survive?


Jerry Albright said:
Here we go......
So what are they supposed to do here Karen? Lay out all the employment statutes thus proving "Hey - I don't have to answer this question!"? Is that what you recommend? Or should they just lie on the app because the "law" says they don't have to disclose it? I really have a hard time seeing or understanding what business you are in. I'm all about discussion and everyone throwing their thoughts in though. Just trying to get a picture on what you do for a living. (not that any law says you have to disclose or not disclose thus exposing the privacy or lack thereof to the exact (vs. alleged) nature of your completely-by-the-letter-of-the-law (employment laws at least) work. Love and kisses,
Jerry

KarenM said:
the applicant is not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge, or conviction, the records of which have been erased - In most states.. determine his state law - see the following https://www.unionbank.com/Images/State-Specific_Disclosure_Limitati...
I completely agree with Jerry and others who advocate disclosure....i.e. telling the truth. Everyone makes mistakes and owning up to them is part of being mature. Hiding them however is indicative of a unethical mindset that sends shivers down most corporation's spines.
Karen is correct in saying a candidate might be protected by law from being required to answer certain illegal questions, however that doesn't help the candidate if the company says "if you don't complete the paperwork we aren't hiring you".

The best recourse is honesty. However if the candidate was offered the job and then the job offer was rescinded based on this issue, then the candidate has recourse to go after the company. Any good HR manager knows they can not use past conviction records in hiring decisions unless there is a company policy not hiring convicted felons, or the candidate poses a threat to the company, its customers or its employees.

If you would like to chat off line about this please contact me. I have taught SHRM selection and placement classes with these same issues for many years and can help guide you.
THANK YOU EVERYONE VERY VERY MUCH. We kinda already knew we were going with the honesty approach, yet secretly I hoped that I could find a way to avoid the possible loss of placement. Both my candidate and I will gain the peace of mind that honesty brings.

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