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Once I have been offered job in writing, can the offer be rescinded just because the background check revealed dismissed charge.

Charlotte, NC |

I was recently offered a job by metlife. They had a 3rd party do a background check. I received a pre-adverse action letter in the mail. Everything else passed, except a dismissed domestic violence charge 3 years ago. the case was dismissed, and I have nothing else on my record. Can an employer legally rescind an offer based on a dismissed charge that I was not asked to disclose?

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Attorney answers 2


Yes. In North Carolina an employer is free to refuse to hire you for any reason that is not specifically prohibited. However, the employer would be subject to a wrongful firing claim if the refusal to hire was based on unlawful discrimination.

Kirk J. Angel is an experienced attorney who focuses his practice on employment law. Mr. Angel, who has practiced employment law for more than 15 years, represents clients throughout North Carolina and more information about him is available at This response is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Additionally, this response does not create an attorney client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer in your state who practices in the appropriate area.


I agree with Mr. Angel. In addition to his advice you should consider getting the charge expunged form your record so this doesn't happen again in the future. After an expungement you do not have to acknowledge the charge on an application and they employer cannot even ask about it.(G.S 15A-153)

The information provided herein is general information and not designed to create a lawyer-client relationship, nor is it intended to be all-inclusive. You should seek counsel from an attorney about your particular situation to ensure your rights are protected.

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