Employment Issue

I am in a quandry as to how to handle the following employee/employer issue.  Our CEO informed me that he hired an individual that has a criminal background.  This person's duties would be sales and marketing related and their compensation would be part salary and part commission.  I suggested that we have this employee sign an employment contract and agree to allow us to perform a backgound check.  The employee signed the employment contract, but refused to give us permission to perform a background check.  

What further action if any should I take? 


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  • Questions, do you have a company policy covering those positions in your company that would be subject to background checks? Does the company offer a conditional job offer that would include successful completion of a background check? If so what system failed that allowed the CEO to circumvent company policy?

    If you do not have a policy do you customarily complete backgrounds on all employees that fulfill this duty? If you do not customarily perform backgrounds  is it that your present knowledge has created a concern that singles this employee out for the background?

    Is the "criminal" background relevant to the position? Are there issues in the contract that are related to what you may find in the background check? What is your state law concerning background checks? Will you conduct the background or will you have a third party perform that duty?

    All of this will have an effect on your next step. Consult your company attorney.



  • The nature of the offer made by the CEO is critical.  If the CEO made the offer without any strings attached, as CEOs often do, and if the job has been accepted, then it's a little late to require a background check as a condition of continued employment.  This is the kind of thing that has to be done at the gate, not in the compound.  Hopefully, the offer was made in writing and contingent upon satisfactory findings in background and/or drug tests.  If yo uare in this position, consult local counsel.


    Whether the background check precludes employment will depend not only on what you find in the background report, but also the nature of the job.  An 8 year old simple assault w/ 30 days in the hole is not going to be the same as a 3 year old, out on good behavior, white collar crime if this person will be in a position to scam the company for his or her own gain in the course of his or her duties.  I do not know of a bright line test: use good judgment.  Check with counsel if you are unsure.  Ignore arrest reports if you see any.  DOn't request them if you can avoid having them on hand.

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