How to explain my criminal conviction on employment application if business perform a 7 yr background check?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Warrenville, IL

I was convicted of a felony theft by unlawful taking 3rd degree in New Jersey in April 2003 and completed probation in 2006. This is my only conviction and have changed my life around since it happened. I am working as a contractor at a fortune 500 company as IT support and have passed the background check with no issues. Now I am being considered to be converted as a perm employee. I know that I will have to do another background check which goes back 7 yrs which states in their policy. I have no issues disclosing on the application and will be honest. How do I explain my conviction when asked: "Have you been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?" and will I be considered for hiring?

Additional information

I will say this again. My conviction happened almost 10 yrs ago.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If part of the hiring process is to ask that question, you must be honest. Since you are so close to the 7 year mark and you have mentioned the employer checks background only back 7 years, is there any way you can postpone the application until after April 2013?

  2. Brendan William Caver

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . You should speak with an employment attorney regarding your application and criminal history. Depending on a variety of factors, it may be illegal for an employer to refuse to consider your application for employment if the conviction is unrelated to the job you applied for. If the potential for employment is important, you may find yourself making a small investment in legal advice that will pay off in the short-intermediate term future.

    Nothing posted on this site is legal advice. Neither does any attorney-client relationship exist as a result of... more
  3. Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . If you can wait to apply until it is more than 7 years will it show up?

    You absolutely must be honest. If it asks "Have you ever...?" you need to say "Yes" and explain that you have changed.

    Will it cost you the job? I don't know. I don't know your employer nor its policies. A felony record is a tremendous burden.

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