Can Jobs See Your Pending Charges?
Getting a criminal record can be a huge hindrance in securing a job. Employers can view your criminal record through background checks, but what if you have a criminal charge or indictment pending? Can employers see those too? It depends, as it varies from state to state.
A pending charge is a criminal charge that is still being processed. It is often accompanied by an arrest, but the prosecuting attorney has not yet filed criminal charges. In other words, the accused person has not been convicted and is not yet a convict.
Background Check Laws by State
Not all states allow information regarding pending charges to be shared. In some states, employers and landlords can find out about a person’s pending criminal charges. According to the National Consumer Law Center:
- In Texas, Arizona and Indiana, employers can view pending criminal charges.
- In Missouri and Illinois, employers can only see pending criminal charges if the charges are felonies.
- In New York, Pennsylvania and most other states, employers cannot view pending criminal charges.
Privacy in the Hiring Process
In states where employers can view pending charges, candidates are likely to face discrimination in the hiring process. This means that employers can choose to not hire candidates whose records show pending charges, even if the person is innocent. This can be an issue for innocent people who cannot find employment due to their pending charges.
It’s important to check your state’s background check laws before applying for a job. While some states allow employers to view pending charges, in many states they are not allowed to. However, even in those states, it is still advisable to be honest with employers about pending charges, as they may be able to find out in other ways.