Woman sacked for shoplifting...40 years ago

by 11 May 2012

They don’t muck around in the US – it seems a strike against your name will land you on the blacklist for life.

US mortgage firm Wells Fargo gave an employee of five years, Yolanda Quesada, 58, the flick after a background check of all employees revealed Quesada had a shoplifting offence against her name.

A spokesman from the firm told local media that the company had performed background checks due to legal requirements and changes in the regulatory environment. “Because Wells Fargo is an insured depository institution, we are bound by federal law that generally prohibits us from hiring or continuing the employment of any person who we know has a criminal record involving dishonesty or breach of trust,” the spokesman said.

Quesada had shoplifted as a teen shortly after leaving high school in 1972 and has never reoffended. Her role dealt in phone customer service, and did involve handling cash – however, due to the blight on her name, she was told she is ineligible to work at the bank. “I think there are more important things in life than something I did 40 years ago," Quesada said. "I paid for it. I've changed my life.”

While the criminal code differs from state to state, in most jurisdictions across Australia shoplifting as a teen would unlikely be recorded as a criminal conviction.


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  • by Sympathetic 11/05/2012 3:19:05 PM

    I have also had to terminate an employee due to changes to Legislative Criminal History Check requirements over an offence 35 years prior when they were a minor. While I understand the need for some regluation in some industries such as health, banking etc I feel there should be a way to appeal individual cases where exceptional circumstances exist and where they are a valued long term employee and have never re-committed an offence. In this case, I personally did not deem it as an offence once I was made aware of the cirucmstances but still the Legislation gave us no choice...

  • by Verify Holdings Australia Pty Ltd 14/05/2012 9:32:25 AM

    A crime convicted 40 years ago coming up within a Criminal Record Check in your current role is a harsh way to make judgements and end employment terms. Throughout Australia, the Spent Convictions Scheme takes into account the duration of time since the offence was committed. Verify Holdings Australia provides organisations with an extensive range of services, of which Criminal Records Checks are included. Verify falls under the spent Convictions legislation. Therefore any crimes convicted 10 years ago – given that the individual has not reoffended or has not been sentenced to imprisonment for more than 30 months – will not come up in a National Criminal Record Check.