Backround Checks, Discrepancies & Salaries

Hello -

I’m new to this board. After reading some of the other posts, I’m wondering if one of you might be able to provide me some guidance.

I recently left my job after being there for several years. Prior to that, I did short-term contract positions for several years. I have been offered a new full-time role and am in the process of a background check.

The third party company doing the background check has come up with a discrepancy.

I had a contract role for a few months in 2012. I listed the pay rate as $55 an hour because that’s what I remember. When they called the company, the company said $50 an hour. Can I lose the job? I did not mean to put the wrong salary - I remembered it as that rate. (I should have checked but I’m not sure where I’d find those old records.) This discrepancy has me worried that I put rates for other contract positions down incorrectly.

In addition, the third party is asking for W-2s and 1099s. Is this common? I’ve had many background checks but don’t ever remember having to provide a W-2 or 1099.

Thanks in advance.

Since the OP is looking for advice, let’s move this to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

They’re calling your old employer and checking what you used to get paid? Who are these assholes? They can refuse you the job for any reason they like and they don’t have to tell you what the reason is.

Yes, they can reject your application for no reason at all. As long as they do not tell you why, you can not sue them. Therefore, most folks that do not get the job are never told the “real” reason why.

That being said, I would not sweat a $5.00 an hour discrepancy. Many folks do not recall their exact wages from five years ago. Now if you cheated on your taxes…

It sounds like you are getting a more in-depth background check than is usual for a basic airport job. When I worked at Boeing, I worked on some military projects that, 30 years on, I can not discuss with anyone. The Background check for that job was much more intense than the ones I get to work on General Aviation aircraft at smaller airports, or even to work for the airlines. Heck the background check to work in the public schools was not as intense as any aircraft based background check I ever got.

So to recap, as I am sure you are aware, there are background checks, and then there are BACKGROUND CHECKS!!

Do not sweat the small stuff. Your minor discrepancy on wages will probably not be an issue.

IHTH, 48.

Thank you for the feedback. I’ve had background checks before for Government contracts and other high tech roles but nothing like this background check. It’s been very intense. I need to just take a deep breath and jump the hoops.

I admit, though, that I did get upset with the third party agent. I should not have been frustrated with her as she is just doing her job. Some of this process, though, seems a bit nit picky. For example, I have to refill out a form because of the date format I used.

Anyhow, thanks for the feedback. Like I said, I just need to jump the hoops and provide what is asked for. I just hope if W-2s and 1099s are needed for more than seven (7) years ago that I can provide them. I only keep my taxes for seven years.

Just provide them with whatever documentation you have. If you no longer have it, say you don’t have it anymore. But that you would authorize them to be released from the IRS or whatever they need.

And tell them that is what you thought you were being paid, but got it wrong. Sorry!

If they can’t accept that and are being too picky, they will NEVER find anyone to hire! No one remembers anything exactly and it is quite common for people to not keep records.

So anyway just do your best and don’t sweat it.

I’ve been asked for W-2s for several background checks (I’m in software, although nothing top-secret).

Background check companies are notoriously lazy, they want you to do all the work for them. I wouldn’t sweat it so much, I think most hiring managers understand that the background check is for CYA and not to really vet a candidate.

I’ve been through this kind of thing before. I consider it part of their selection process. Any candidate is going to go through the same gauntlet so if you really want the job, be grateful for how picky and difficult it is. The worse it gets, the more likely it is that your competition for the job will give up and apply elsewhere. That just makes it that much easier to be chosen. In addition, an employee who goes through this kind of thing successfully looks that much better to the employer.

I wouldn’t worry on being 10% off from your salary estimate. That’s pretty close, it’s not like you vastly downplayed or exaggerated your salary to be deceptive, it’s just a little off. I have jobs that I include on my resume that were so long ago, I have no paperwork and have to make an educated guess. (Luckily for me they’re also out of business so hard to check up on.) You should be fine.