Background Checks

Here’s more fuel for the fire about when to do a background check – before or after the job offer.  This one, incidentally, is from real life.  Here are the facts:  Candidate applies for a job.  Employer not only makes the candidate a job offer, but also actually hires the candidate.  Candidate/new employee works for the employer for over a month.  Background check finally comes back and shows a conviction for armed robbery!  Employer terminates new employee.  Former employee then sues employer for wrongful denial of employment, justifiable reliance, and damages because of loss of employment.  Former employee alleges that he was formerly employed, but resigned from previous job after employer makes a job offer and actually hires the candidate.  So, candidate/former employee claims he justifiably relied on the employer’s job offer and quit his job, only to be fired by the employer approximately one month later, putting him out of work altogether.

It doesn’t really matter if the former employer wins or loses the lawsuit because the legal expenses the employer is going to incur defending their actions are going to be substantial.  If the discharged employee should happen to win, the cost to the employer will be even greater!  But the legal expenses in either instance are going to be far more than a careful criminal court check would have been if it had been completed before any offer of employment was made, and certainly before the individual was hired!

Now, which approach makes more sense to you?