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 Cincinnati ordinance regarding salary history inquiries, effective March 13, 2020.
Updated to include offer and hiring requirements under the forthcoming Seattle Hotel Employees Job Retention Ordinance.
Updated to reflect the forthcoming Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019.
Updated to reflect addition of salary history law guidance.
Updated to reflect protections regarding salary history inquiries, effective January 1, 2020.
Updated to reflect change in applicability of Columbia ban the box law, effective December 3, 2019.
Updated to reflect forthcoming Waterloo ban the box ordinance.
Updated to reflect Kansas City law regarding salary history inquiries, effective October 31, 2019.
Updated to include law regarding salary history inquiry restrictions, effective September 29, 2019.