If, after getting a job offer, my employer is asking about criminal history and I have a theft charge, should I disclose that it was drug related?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If, after getting a job offer, my employer is asking about criminal history and I have a theft charge, should I disclose that it was drug related?

The employer already conducted a background check but they only found the arrest, which was in a different city than the court case. I have already disclosed the basics of the charge theft misdemeanor. However, they called me earlier asking about what kinds of things led to the crime and what things the court mandated. I have so far avoided mentioning that the crime was committed specifically because of drugs. Should I disclose that it was drug-related or stay away from this topic?

Asked on May 9, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if you do not disclose and they become aware of it, not only could they fire you "for cause" (no unemployment) but they could potentially sue you for fraud to recover money spent on recruiting, training, etc. you, since they would not have spent that money but for your nondisclosure (i.e. they likely would not have hired you). Of course, if you do disclose, they may well terminate you, which is legal: employers may refuse to hire or else terminate employees for criminal histories or drug use, even past drug use.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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