Can you get fired for something that didn’t show up on a background check?

I got fired from a job after being with them for 4 days because a third party told them something I did at a completely different job. The crazy part is I did everything to get the job (apply, interview, and background check) which shows I am qualified to have this job but for no reason at all this third part finds out I got a job and gets me fired. If I was that bad why didn’t this matter show up on my background check?


I get why I was fired. The part I don’t understand is why someone has the right to randomly contact a job I clearly was qualified to have and ruin it for me like that. 

13 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    More than likely, as most jobs are "at will"

  • 4 weeks ago

    Personnel files are not of public record.  It would have had to come up on a reference check.  Maybe your ex-employer decided to keep it a secret.  For whatever reason, bad behavior has a way of biting you back - a reason to behave well, especially on the job.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience & with Employment law experience.
  • 4 weeks ago

    Yes. You can get fired for anything, except for race, religion, gender, national guard membership, disability (unless it actually keeps you from performing the "essential functions" of the job), etc.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Sure.  Background checks are nice for finding those three DUIs a prospective employee may not have bothered to tell an employer about, but unless whatever that person did to get fired from their last job resulted in some kind of legal paper trail, that background check isn't going to be able to tell much of anything about what happened.  It's not like there's some national database of everyone's employee records that a background check can tap into.   

    If I'm an employer and someone comes to me with information about a recent hire that I find to be credible, and that would have prevented me from hiring the person in the first place, why shouldn't I be allowed to act on it?

    As for the person who did the telling, so long as the information is accurate (because you would have a legal case for slander if it isn't), why should this person be under some obligation to keep quiet?  You don't mention specifics about the incident, which is fine.  Maybe this is just a jerk move by someone with a grudge against you, or maybe this is someone who legitimately believes sharing this information is what's best.  Either way, it doesn't matter.  It's legal to be a jerk and it's also legal to decide for yourself whose interests you should be looking out for.  

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Doesn't matter. Unless you have a personal employment contract or are covered by a union collective bargaining agreement, the employer doesn't need a reason to fire you.

    Now, if you have proof of who this third party is and you also have proof that this third party is lying, you could sue the third party for slander/defamation and damages resulting from the loss if income. You can't sue the employer. If what the third party says is true, and it does not have to be anything criminal, it does not have to be something in a background check, you lose. People can say anything at all about you as long as it is the truth.

  • Judy
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Of course you can be fired. There are different levels of background check. You might be technically qualified for the job but obviously whatever you did made them want to not have you around.

  • 4 weeks ago

    You can sue for libel or slander if it is not true. For that reason most employers will not give the reason you left. They will only indicate if they would rehire your or not. Legally they can say anything that is clearly true.

  • 4 weeks ago

    If you are an at-will employee (no contract) then your employment can be terminated at any time by either you or your employer with or without notice.  Background checks don't always provide accurate information.  We had someone at work who was hired, passed the background check and a couple days later was fired because the boss made a mistake and didn't put their driver's license information in correctly.  The mistake was caught and the employee came back with 2 DUI convictions as well as a driving on suspension.

    Also when most employers give references and verify employment, they are afraid to say anything negative for liability reasons - you don't want to be the reason why the company got sued -.  Now let's say a co-worker sees you steal something, they quit and take a job with another company.  You later quit your job and get hired by the same company and now this former co-worker who knew you tells the new boss everything they know about you.  Unfortunately that does happen, you loose your new job and the only thing you can do is move on.

  • 4 weeks ago

    You can get fired for, pretty much, any reason except for race, sex, marital status, etc.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Yes, it happens all the time. I don't mean to scare you, but yes it is a real possible thing. Especially if you are requiring a job with a group of people or if they are rushing people in.

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