Criminal Records and Employment in WA

If you are trying to find employment and you have a criminal record, you may be wondering how much information you need to divulge. Here are some answers to common questions.

How should you answer questions about my criminal background on an application?

Answer employment application questions accurately. Many employers run criminal background checks and you want to be truthful up front. The employer can deny you the position or terminate you if you gave inaccurate information. If you don’t know what is in your record, get a copy of your criminal history report.

Should you provide more information than they ask for?

Employers may ask many questions and it can vary from employer to employer. Some may ask only if you have been convicted of a crime, others may ask about a specific time period and others may ask about a specific type of crime.

Always answer accurately, but you are not required to disclose information they do not ask for. For example if they say a crime in the last 7 years but your conviction was 10 years ago.

Private employers can ask about convictions and juvenile adjudications. Juvenile court records are not confidential in Washington State.

What about a vacated or sealed case?

If you have a sealed case from when you were a juvenile, you do not need to disclose it. If your case has been vacated, you can say you have never been convicted. However, it is a good idea to talk to an attorney about this because employers can find the information on background checks.

These are just a few of the important questions. If you would like more information visit the ACLU or contact Charles Johnston Law.

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