Misrepresentations of Criminal Record on Job Applications
In McCorkle v. Schenker Logistics, Inc., 2014 WL 5020598 (M.D.Pa. Oct. 8, 2014) a federal district court ruled that an employer, Schenker, did not violate the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Information Act (the “Act”) when it revoked a contingent offer of employment due to the job applicant’s failure to disclose misdemeanor and summary convictions in violation of employer’s policy.
Schenker’s employment policy included a provision that misrepresentations on job applications may disqualify applicants from employment. McCorkle disclosed on his application a conviction for stalking and harassment, and also acknowledged that providing false information was grounds for disqualification from employment. He did not disclose convictions or guilty pleas to numerous misdemeanor and summary offenses, including possession of drug paraphernalia, DUI, and possession of controlled substances.
Schenker, after extending a contingent offer of employment, conducted a criminal history check on McCorkle which revealed the additional convictions and guilty pleas. Upon discovery, Schenker asked McCorkle to review his application and identify any errors or omissions. McCorkle failed to identify any, and Schenker notified him his application was disqualified due to misrepresentations regarding his criminal history.
McCorkle instituted an action alleging Schenker violated the Act by revoking his contingent offer of employment due to misdemeanor and summary offenses unrelated to his suitability for employment and failing to notify him in writing that employment was revoked due to his criminal history. The Act generally prohibits employers from considering past convictions as a bar to employment unless they relate to the applicant’s suitability for the position.
The court found that Schenker did not disqualify McCorkle’s application because of the convictions and guilty pleas, rather it found that his application was disqualified for intentional misrepresentations made on his job application related to his criminal history. The court expressly held Schenker “had a reasonable basis to revoke his offer of employment pursuant to the terms of the conditional offer and its hiring policies and was under no obligation to consider whether [McCorkle’s] convictions were related to his suitability for the position.”
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