Seeking WSO Community Guidance re Upcoming Background Check Exposure for New Job

Dear WSO Community - 

Would appreciate people's thoughts as I navigate a tricky situation. Not looking for legal advice and am definitely doing my own work there. My hope is that people can share first or second hand experiences to help inform my situation and that if anyone finds themselves in a similar position in the future, they can refer back to this post and find solace. Thank you to all in advance.

Situation Overview:

I am starting a new buyside job in NYC in 2024 and at the time of the background check, I will have a Disorderly Conduct violation (§ 240.20) on my record with a 1 year conditional discharge (i.e., it gets sealed after a year but will not be sealed at the time of background check). I do not have any securities license and will not need one either for this new job. I would be grateful of any guidance regarding the following:

  1. What my exposure is to an employment background check: Key questions that come to mind here are 1) do violations show up on employment background checks or do just criminal convictions (a violation is not a criminal offense unlike misdemeanors and felonies?; 2) do past arrests that led to a violation conviction (again, not a criminal conviction) show up on an employment background check?; 3) Are employment agencies even allowed to report on this / employers allowed to see this or factor this into decision making (understand there may be overlap with 1 and 2 here)?
  2. How should I handle the situation in light of this exposure: While with item 1 above I am trying to assess what could show up and the probability of it showing up, I have to prepare for different scenarios. Scenarios that come to mind are: 1) Don't ask, don't tell and only respond if and when this comes up with the new firm; or 2) Preemptively take action and explain the situation to the new firm. Either way, I need to prepare a response if this comes up and would appreciate any advice there as well.

I understand there are several items outside of my control and my objective is only to scenario plan next steps correctly. For example, if there is minimal chance of anything showing up on the background check, I can start a new lease sooner and leave my current job earlier. On the other hand, if there is a significant chance of something showing up, I won't leave my current role until I absolutely must (which would eliminate any time off between jobs) and I'll start a lease for after my start date (implications include having to live temporarily somewhere for couple weeks).


I would be grateful for guidance regarding any or all of the above by way of response to this thread or direct messages. Thank you so much again.


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