Character & Fitness -- Previous Employment Question

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Logicalfallacy

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Character & Fitness -- Previous Employment Question

Postby Logicalfallacy » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:28 pm

I know this is a little early to be asking about (I'm a rising 3L) but I'm wondering how extensively the bar looks into previous employers you list? I'm obviously going to list all of my employers and not hide anything, but there is one employer I am a little concerned about.

It was a bartending job I had in college that was a really toxic workplace (a TON of sexual harassment going on, for example one time I bent down near a co-worker to get a bottle of alcohol from the counter and my co-worker said in front of my boss and everyone "why don't you stay down there a little longer" and everyone laughed, as well as on-site illegal drug use and people drinking on the job). I ended up quitting on the spot without notice, and it turned into this ugly situation where they wouldn't turn over my paycheck and my dad ended up going in making a scene demanding they turn over the paycheck and saying he was going to call the cops because he was aware of the illegal drugs on the premises, leading to employees running to the back to flush the drugs down...

Anyway, my concern is that whoever reviews my application will call this particular employer (I only worked there a few months) and the employer will bad mouth me or make up lies about me just because they hold a grudge about my time there and the way I left things, which I totally wouldn't put past them.

Moabit

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Re: Character & Fitness -- Previous Employment Question

Postby Moabit » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:07 am

Typically, an employment entry on a bar application has a field "reason for leaving" or something similar where you can briefly state your side of the story (e.g., "because of discrimination/hostile work environment that I experienced").

sleeplessindc

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Re: Character & Fitness -- Previous Employment Question

Postby sleeplessindc » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:59 pm

Does your state rely on NCBE to conduct the character and fitness investigation? The conclusion I reached based on personal stories on TLS and elsewhere is that NCBE contacts all employers and/or supervisors you list via snail mail and/or email, even for really old jobs. However, how persistent NCBE is in demanding contact information for an old employer/supervisor or securing that employer's/supervisor's feedback about the applicant might depend on any red flags, e.g., the applicant indicating that they were fired from that job, even if it was a very short-term stint years ago. (I don't have ironclad evidence for this view or anything, only sparse and anecdotal. But it feels truthy.)

One of my past employers (who likes me) shared the 1 page NCBE form he got with me. At the top it lists the starting and ending month and year of employment, the position job title, and supervisor. Then it asks:

1. If the from/to date or position(s) are inaccurate, please correct. If "present" is indicated but employment has ended, provide the employment end date.
2. If the employment has ended, why/how did the position end?
3. Was the position full time or part time?
4. Would you rehire this person? If the answer is no, please comment below or attach an explanation.
5. Do you believe this person possess the character and fitness necessary for the practice of law? You may comment below.


As to your specific situation, I wouldn't worry too much about it. You'll get to provide your own description of what happened, as moabit already said. Plus your references that you provide and other employers/supervisors' (presumably positive) feedback will be factored into the investigative findings, not just anomalous feedback from a single toxic employer.

If it makes you feel better, I know of one applicant who bluntly told NCBE that they were fired from a job in what the applicant suspected was illegal retaliation after complaining about discriminatory pay. That applicant passed C&F without major delays or problems, despite worries that the employer was going to lie and talk shit about them.

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rcharter1978

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Re: Character & Fitness -- Previous Employment Question

Postby rcharter1978 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:12 am

@OP - in reading your story....A) it sounds like it happened a while ago so is that place still standing

B) if it is still standing and he is still "the boss" is he really the type to be super salty over it after all this time? I think after a while it probably just turned into a story unless your dad broke actual kneecaps.

C) in some states employers will only confirm dates, though a guy like that probably isn't worried about liabilities.

D) is he really going to want to get in the weeds with an official sounding agency? Sometimes people who aren't doing all the right things in life just want to fly as far under the radar as they can, so shit talking a former employee from years ago who didn't really cause any damage just may not be worth it.

Ive never worked in a bar, but I feel like this guy has probably been through worse and so this wasn't a real life altering experience for him to the degree that he would feel super motivated to fuck you over.

b290

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Re: Character & Fitness -- Previous Employment Question

Postby b290 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:14 am

Logicalfallacy wrote:I ended up quitting on the spot without notice, and it turned into this ugly situation where they wouldn't turn over my paycheck and my dad ended up going in making a scene demanding they turn over the paycheck and saying he was going to call the cops because he was aware of the illegal drugs on the premises, leading to employees running to the back to flush the drugs down...

Anyway, my concern is that whoever reviews my application will call this particular employer (I only worked there a few months) and the employer will bad mouth me or make up lies about me just because they hold a grudge about my time there and the way I left things, which I totally wouldn't put past them.

They are going to call that employer - you can guarantee that.

No need to go into specifics. Just:

"I had particular concerns about the workplace. They were not addressable through the normal channels and the only reasonable thing (at the time) was to resign. "

...(or something similar) should suffice.

The last thing you want to do is to seem like you're making excuses, which going into it (as you did in your OP) could possibly across as. You should be fine though.

My $.02

Jcanqueen12

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Re: Character & Fitness -- Previous Employment Question

Postby Jcanqueen12 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:11 pm

b290 wrote:
Logicalfallacy wrote:I ended up quitting on the spot without notice, and it turned into this ugly situation where they wouldn't turn over my paycheck and my dad ended up going in making a scene demanding they turn over the paycheck and saying he was going to call the cops because he was aware of the illegal drugs on the premises, leading to employees running to the back to flush the drugs down...

Anyway, my concern is that whoever reviews my application will call this particular employer (I only worked there a few months) and the employer will bad mouth me or make up lies about me just because they hold a grudge about my time there and the way I left things, which I totally wouldn't put past them.

They are going to call that employer - you can guarantee that.

No need to go into specifics. Just:

"I had particular concerns about the workplace. They were not addressable through the normal channels and the only reasonable thing (at the time) was to resign. "

...(or something similar) should suffice.

The last thing you want to do is to seem like you're making excuses, which going into it (as you did in your OP) could possibly across as. You should be fine though.

My $.02


Do you know if they contact overseas employers? I'm in a sticky situation where the attorney I worked for overseas has recently been disbarred. Do you think that will affect my character and fitness application?

b290

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Re: Character & Fitness -- Previous Employment Question

Postby b290 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:35 pm

Jcanqueen12 wrote:Do you know if they contact overseas employers? I'm in a sticky situation where the attorney I worked for overseas has recently been disbarred. Do you think that will affect my character and fitness application?

They have to at least make an attempt. For my NCBE app, my boss moved to Europe. He was contacted (I was surprised because all I had to put on the application was an email)

As to the depth, or how many times (in case the analyst can't get a hold of the appropriate person), that would depend on your state.

My $.02



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