How far back can a prospective employer go in a background check?

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How far back can a prospective employer go in a background check?

About 12 years ago I believed the police when they said it was in my best interest to plead guilty to a charge to make it go away. I now have a forgery and theft conviction on my record. My new prospective employer wants to do a background check as part of my pre-employment screening. I heard they can go back only 10 years in WA. Is the correct?

Asked on July 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

How far back a potential employer may go back in time to check out an applicant's background depends upon the existing policies of the company that one is interviewing with. Each company being interviewed with has different custom and practices on the information desired on an applicant's background check from a time perspective.

The question you have asked deals with practices in the private forum of businesses and there are no laws dealing with the issue.

Good luck on getting the position you applied for. However, if you are hired as an employee and it later is found out about your prior conviction where questions are asked about it, be honest with your responses.


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