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I have been selected for an administrative position at a corrections facility in Arizona.  They are doing a back ground check on me and I have concern that the 2008 misdemeanor assault, which was dismissed, will hinder my employment.  

When this type of facility is doing these checks, what are they looking for?

I really want and need this job.

Thank you!

Hi, Julie.  Most employers run background checks these days, and while every employer may have its own specific approach, generally they are looking for things that would appear to make a person unqualified for the job they are seeking. I could not find online any explanation of the standards the Arizona Department of Corrections applies.  Most sophisticated employers will be careful to be sure that any criminal history relates to the job before considering it an impediment to employment, so a charge which might be important for a guard, for example, might well be irrelevant for filling an administrative vacancy.

In your case, however, since your charge was dismissed, it should not have any effect on your qualifications.  You may have to explain what happened, but otherwise it probably won't prove to be important.

I hope this helps, and I wish you the best in obtaining this position!  

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Frank C. Magill


I can answer questions about any U.S. labor or employment law question. I cannot answer questions about non-US law. I am not a specialist in employee benefit law (ERISA and HIPAA) or Workers' Compensation law, but will do my best to point questioners toward good resources availabe online. Expertise includes, without limitation, EEO/Affirmative Action/Employment discrimination (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, GINA, Fair Credit Reporting Act as applied to employment); Fair Labor Standards Act; Texas labor code; Family Medical Leave Act; employee compensation; discipline and dismissal; force reductions, severance pay programs and administration; collective bargaining, union representation, grievances and arbitration, National Labor Relations Act and National Labor Relations Board; employee handbooks; staffing; dispute resolution outside of traditional labor agreements; employee communications; employment policies and compliance programs; codes of ethics; employment or labor litigation.


30+ years experience as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 telecom company, specializing in labor and employment law issues. In addition to providing day-to-day advice to my company's internal HR leadership and staff, I've represented the company in numerous labor arbitration cases and at the bargaining table.

Texas, Illinois and Missouri state bars

J.D. 1979, Harvard Law School. B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1976, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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