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Is a job applicant obliged by law to report misdemeanor charges on applications that ask "Have you committed a crime"?

Seaford, DE |

The application asks two separate questions: "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" and "Have you ever committed a crime?" If the applicant has only been charged with misdemeanors and has previously worked for this company and is now facing not being hired due to a misdemeanor that is irrelevant to their position. Do they have to report on the application the misdemeanor and can the employer not hire them due to the charges?

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Attorney answers 2


Any answers must be truthful to legitimate inquiries for employment as follows:
1. The application asks two separate questions: "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?"
If there is no felony conviction, the answer is no.
2. "Have you ever committed a crime?"
If the applicant has only been charged with misdemeanors and the final disposition was a SOL (stricken on leave), dismissal, acquittal that means that there is no conviction of a misdemeanor and the answer is no.
However, if there is a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor in your criminal history, you need to disclose it and include the explanation of that matter. The decision to hire lies with the employer exclusively and they may refuse employment.
However, to fully understand all pros and cons of the above scenarios, meet with an employment law attorney in the area to discuss pre-employment questionnaires for their broadness and propriety. In my opinion, certain pre-employment questions could not be legally too broad or too inquisitory.

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My advice is to always be honest. For the "have you ever committed a crime" question, you should be truthful because your prior conviction is easy to find and an employer will have an easy basis to reject you if you are not truthful. you may want to consider obtaining a pardon, which will then give you a basis to expunge your misdemeanor conviction.

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