Overview: A conditional job offer is an employment offer that is conditioned upon the successful completion of another event or additional requirement that the prospective employee must meet prior to obtaining the particular job. It is not uncommon for an employer to condition an offer of employment on the successful completion on certain additional requirements prior to the start date.
Job offers may be conditioned upon various requirements, such as, the successful completion of a drug test, medical examination, criminal background check, driver's license record check, reference checks, educational background checks, proof that the job applicant has obtained the necessary licensing requirements to perform the job, proof that the job applicant is in good professional standing, the job applicant's execution of the employment contract or related documents, and/or the successful completion of any other job-related condition placed upon job applicants.
However, employers must keep in mind that the conditions must be related to the employer's particular business needs and cannot be discriminatory or otherwise violate state or federal laws.
Trends: Employers should also be aware of the states and cities that have enacted "Ban the Box" legislation, prohibiting employers from inquiring about or access a job applicant's criminal history on initial job applications. However, several of these laws allow employers to seek the criminal history of these individuals after a conditional job offer has been extended.
Author: Melissa A. Silver, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to reflect offer requirements under the New York City Fair Work Practices ordinances, effective November 26, 2017.
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law two measures that restrict employers from asking job applicants about their salary and criminal history. Both laws are effective January 1, 2018.
Updated to reflect salary history restrictions, effective October 6, 2017.
Updated to reflect amendment to Illinois Human Rights Act regarding religious accommodation, effective August 11, 2017.
Updated to include amendment regarding social media accounts of prospective and current employees, effective July 31, 2017.
Updated to include offer requirements under the Seattle Secure Scheduling Ordinance, effective July 1, 2017.
Updated to reflect hair testing law, effective July 1, 2017.