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Employment Law/Background Check


Hello Ms. deMarteleire,

Hello, I hope you can help me with some answers. I have been unemployed since 8/2013 and I have had no luck finding a job. I have gone on many interviews and they all seem to go well but I feel like there is something blocking my ability to get hired.

I feel as if my reputation or background check is hurting me; however I have no criminal history. I have such great experience in so many areas and my resume speaks for itself. I want to know if I can perform my own background check to see what other employers see about me so maybe I can get a better understanding as to why I cant get a job.

I was wrongfully terminated at CVS for taking a leave of absence and then rehired and then terminated for being 5 min late. I wish I knew what CVS would share about me in regards to an employer verifying my employment with the company. I just wish I knew what my background check results look like because Im really starting to give up hope on myself as Im falling deeper in my depression. I need help by going back to work for my overall wellness.

Im a very hard worker and very experienced especially in retail pharmacy, healthcare admin, and customer service. If you can direct to the right resource tools to help myself I would be so grateful. I need a job and no one will hire me.

So, my core question is...
How can I perform my own background check to see what potential employers see?

Thanks for your time and attention,

Suzanne - I do not know what the economic situation is in your country, but in the US being out of work for eight months is absolutely normal.  The job market has not improved sufficiently to cause employers to search for or accept anything less than their "ideal" employee, however they define ideal.  It is also, sadly, true that the longer one is out of work the less attractive a candidate they appear to prospective employers.  Stupid, but true.

I think conducting a background check is unnecessary for now.  What I suggest you do instead is to call CVS human resources and ask them what information they give out on past employees.  The biggest companies here usually limit their comments to whether the person was an employee, the job title and how long the employee worked for the company. Saying much else, such as "she was fired for lateness," for example, could lead to a lawsuit for intentional interference with contractual relations.  In other words, they wrongly kept you from getting new employment.  As most European nations are more employee-friendly than the US is, I would be surprised if CVS in the Netherlands says much other than what I outlined above - name, dates and job title.  

The other thing you can do, and this has to be done carefully for reasons related to what I wrote above - fear of lawsuits - is to contact the HR department of the next company that interviews but does not hire you.  Ask them if there is anything you could have or should have done/been/said that would have made you a more attractive candidate to them.  You could find out that you were perfect but they hired from inside, or you could find out that you wear too much perfume.  You won't know until you call and ask, but it has to be done very delicately or you might not get a truthful answer.

You can also just Google yourself - that is probably the source for any information most employers bother to obtain on employees in anything other than executive positions.  Maybe there are some questionable pictures or comments on Facebook that you should take down.  Look at what you find on Google and make corrections or deletions as needed.   

Finally, I know how demoralizing being out of work can be.  Try to find some meaningful volunteer work, or start a hobby - anything to make you feel better about your life.  Good luck.  

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Margaret M. deMarteleire


I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.


Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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