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  • Job Loss More Than Enough

    I really would like to understand something about background checks, which could not possibly go back further than 10 years if done legally in California. This is the second time that I have been through this scenario, interview goes well, I pass the background check, start working, things are going well, hit the three-month marker and now I cannot seem to do anything right, manager takes a turn away from liking my work, and a case is made to be fired. I really am a hard worker. I did not have these kinds of problems on other past jobs.

    What I also have a past employment lawsuit, mainly against a fellow coworker's actions of making up an untrue story to discredit me, but the lawsuit also named the former employer because of the discipline I received for the employer's belief in the coworker's untrue statements. I ended up leaving the company shortly thereafter. This goes back well over 10 years ago. I was the plaintiff, and it was settled out of court. I wish I had never filed it, it proved nothing, and I have this perpetual 'black mark' against me as a permanent record, which is unfair and apparently damaging to what might be left of my ability to be hired. The way I feel about this, it is just as bad as committing a crime, in the eyes of an employer, if they become aware of this. Even if it was over 10 years ago, it is something that will show up and will never go away. Nor will the stored actual court documents, which were supposed to be destroyed at 10 years, but were not. Also guessing it would be on a less than ten year history.

    I am asking this question: Is it possible that an employer, after doing the requisite pre-employment background check, would then be able to do a more involved, or going back further in time, type of background check once someone is already hired? In other words, could they use the fact that I am already hired to do more searching that may be outside the bounds of 10 years? I remember, at the other job, things started to fall apart because they were doing "credentialing", and it seemed it was downhill after that. And, then, would not have to notify me if they found something adverse because it did not affect my hiring?

    And, finally, what am I to do about this, if this is going on?

  • #2
    Reading your thread title and then the actual content, it seems pretty clear to me that you keep losing your job due to performance. In my experience, the only time you would get knocked out based on background is before hire. After you're in the door, it's 100% about what you do at work. What you wrote seems to indicate a pattern on your part of performance and possibly attitude issues. Looking for some post-hire background bombshell seems unecessary.

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    • #3
      I don't know a single employer that would do a secondary check deeper than the first unless they are looking to promote you or the were given information or a complaint and go to investigate and find the prior lawsuit. Generally they are going to do it before your first day, not at your 91st day. They want to find the liability before they bring you on, not 91 days into it! And it is curious that both were that long.

      Many companies have a 90 initial period (for training and learning curves) and then expectations do increase after that. Turnover is expensive to the employer and I know none that would willingly hire and then dig up dirt to fire. But know plenty that would term around that time period if the new employee isn't up to their expectations in job performance. And that is in the eye of the beholder (the employer) not the employee.

      Whether they legally can is going to be dependent on the paperwork you signed at application time and at hire. Many BG check authorizations give the employer the right to do BG checks for more than just that one time. Do you have a copy of what you signed for either position?

      Are you at all bringing up the lawsuit to fellow employees? Or do you have a "small world" type of job where those facts could be passed from former employer/coworkers to new employer/coworkers? As one of my colleagues says, there is no "little black book" of people not to hire, but it is always possible that there will be connections (you know like 6 or less degrees of separation). And that information can be spread. It is true you filed a lawsuit against a prior employer. Was there any confidentiality agreement on either side of the settlement? Even so, there is always a possibility that these employers didn't go looking for the information, but that it came to them outside the BG check process.

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      • #4
        I also find it odd that you could make it thru the background screen and then think the company is doing another bakckground check later. I know of no company that does that.

        Frankly, unless its a very small town, I dont know how an employer would know anything about your previous lawsuit. If any employer is going to Google you or something similar, they would do it before you started. It is very costly to an employer to have to let an employee go after a few months. We all want to find out anything that may be trouble before hand.

        What I have noticed in my organization is that people are on their best behavior duing the probation period and then bam, right afterwards, the feel "safe" and slack off. There is nothing magic about the probation period and its just as easy to let someone go on day 89 as it in on day 92
        I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
        Thomas Jefferson

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        • #5
          Thanks for the responses. OK, yes, it really could be performance, and the last job was a particularly difficult one, and that fact was acknowledged by management towards the end. No, I never bring this up, and, yes, there was a confidentiality agreement signed. From both of your responses, it sounds like I just need to put this to rest, get on with my work life, and be even more scrupulous in not bringing up anything even remotely related to ever working there back in the day. I do have a new temp job at this point that could turn permanent. Just do not want this one ending in the same way. And, it is best to think that once I am in the door, it is going to be about performance.

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