Should I look for Misdemeanors and Felonies in Background Checks?

A Kantola Learning Minute

A hiring manager says she knows that looking for misdemeanors in background checks is just as important as looking for felonies, but wonders why. Find out in this week's Kantola Learning Minute with Lester S. Rosen, J.D., founder of Employment Screening Resources®.

Hi, Les Rosen here with another Kantola Learning Minute. Another interesting questing about criminal records: "I heard that it's just as important to look for misdemeanors as felonies. Why is that?"

Well, the short answer is that misdemeanor offenses can be, in some jurisdictions, in some circumstances, extremely serious. Misdemeanor convictions can be a spousal abuse, aggravated assault, mistreating a child, assault and weapon charges, various burglary charges. In some jurisdictions, those can all be misdemeanors.

So, you cannot assume that just because something is a misdemeanor it's not serious. As part of your due diligence, what you're looking for is past behavior that might be indicative of future conduct and may be relevant to your decision making when hiring.

Thank you.
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