Regarding a disclosure of a criminal background, how many years do I have to go back to my employer?

UPDATED: Sep 4, 2012

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Regarding a disclosure of a criminal background, how many years do I have to go back to my employer?

I have 3 misdemeanors over 10 years ago. Do I have to tell potential employers about them?

Asked on September 4, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

When many employers run criminal background checks, they get the report through consumer reporting agencies-- who are only allowed to report data that is seven years old.  If you employer uses this type of criminal background check, then you would be okay in not disclosing your history.  However, some employers do not use consumer reporting agencies.  Instead, they may have someone pull your history, just by looking at county websites online.  If he did that, then your criminal history would appear.  Dallas, Collin, and Smith Counties, for example, will list every conviction for a person in that county regardless of the age of the conviction.  If your employer feels that you lied on your application for failing to disclose your complete history, then you could be subject to termination.  The end decision is yours, but a better practice is to ask the future employer about what time frame they are looking at.  Another option is to get an order of non-disclosure if you history qualifies.  The convictions don't go away, but the general public are not allowed to see it, thus no longer impacting your employment options.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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