If, after getting a job offer, my employer is asking about criminal history and I have a theft charge, should I disclose that it was drug related?

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If, after getting a job offer, my employer is asking about criminal history and I have a theft charge, should I disclose that it was drug related?

The employer already conducted a background check but they only found the arrest, which was in a different city than the court case. I have already disclosed the basics of the charge theft misdemeanor. However, they called me earlier asking about what kinds of things led to the crime and what things the court mandated. I have so far avoided mentioning that the crime was committed specifically because of drugs. Should I disclose that it was drug-related or stay away from this topic?

Asked on May 9, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if you do not disclose and they become aware of it, not only could they fire you "for cause" (no unemployment) but they could potentially sue you for fraud to recover money spent on recruiting, training, etc. you, since they would not have spent that money but for your nondisclosure (i.e. they likely would not have hired you). Of course, if you do disclose, they may well terminate you, which is legal: employers may refuse to hire or else terminate employees for criminal histories or drug use, even past drug use.


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