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Why would misdemeanors not show up in a background check but do show up in a fingerprint check?

Port Huron, MI |

I had a background check a year ago, nothing showed up and I got the job. Applied for another job and did not disclose 2 misdemeanors ( 2003 for use of cocaine, I was 19) and possession of marijuana 3 yrs. later. This company did a fingerprint check instead and it showed up andI got fired. I never would have quit my other job if I hadn't already passed the drug test and background check and was told I was hired. The fingerprint check was done on my 3rd day on the job. Is that legal?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

It is not illegal to refuse to hire someone or later fire someone for a conviction of any crime. In addition, the employer would have had grounds (to the extent it was needed) to terminate you for lying on your application. As for why they should up on one check but not another, misdemeanor convictions are not necessarily universally shared in terms of everything being in a single database. Although I do not practice criminal law, I do believe it is easier to check out arrest records through fingerprints and get more compressive results. By the way, had you been arrested for the misdemeanor offense but not convicted (and had not lied on application) you may have had a suit, because Michigan does have a law that prohibits employers from refusing to hire or otherwise adversely effect employment for misdemeanor arrests.

Each employment situation has unique facts and circumstances. This means that information and advice cannot be taken literally and should be used as only informational. The information provided here is not legal advice and should not be interpreted as such.


Yes legal

And, arrest is always on your record unless you clear it off.


I agree with my colleagues.

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