Cuyahoga County HR Manager Loses Job Over A Conviction​

June 11, 2019
A Human Resources Manager was hired to work for the county of Cuyahoga. After a local news source inquired about her criminal history, she was let go.
Backgrounds Online | June 11, 2019

A Human Resources Manager was hired to work for the county of Cuyahoga. After a local news source inquired about her criminal history, she was let go.

About The Hire

Jennifer Vickers was employed as a Manager for the Human Resources department in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. She reportedly beat out 306 other candidates who applied for the same position. Before anyone is granted a job with the county, they must first authorize a background check. A report on Vickers should have contained information about a potentially disqualifying conviction.

When Vickers was hired, a local news team conducted an investigation into her past. What they learned caused them to question the county’s hiring decision.

Conviction Uncovered

Vickers has a first-degree misdemeanor conviction. Her charge was for inducing panic after allegedly accusing a stranger of abducting her one-year-old child from a local bookstore. Vickers was convicted, sentenced to six months of probation, fined and ordered to continue sessions with her psychologist. She reportedly stated the false claim was intended to raise awareness of the need for parents to closely watch their children in public.

Upon learning about Vickers’ conviction, the news team sent a list of questions to the county. They included:
- Why was Vickers terminated?
- Did she pass a background check?
- Did she disclose her criminal conviction?
- Her position would have included reviewing/approving background checks for other county applicants, correct?
- Does HR routinely hire people without background checks?
- How many other people applied for this job?


Following the investigation and inquiry, details about Vickers’ past were revealed publicly. As a result, Vickers was fired after only 4 days on the job. Her termination letter stated: “Employment is at-will, which allows the County to end the employer-employee relationship without notice and without reason.”

Do Your Candidates Have Serious Convictions?

Cuyahoga County was placed in an embarrassing and unfortunate position when news about Vickers was revealed. A situation like this can lead to a loss of trust in the county. Every employer has a responsibility to ensure the people they hire are deemed safe and reliable.

Background checks that are compiled by an accredited Consumer Reporting Agency can help confirm if an individual is both qualified and eligible for a position. They contain details about reportable convictions, show a candidate’s employment and education history and provide other useful facts.

No organization wants to be the subject of an investigation or review because of someone they chose to hire. The proper use of background checks can help prevent situations like the one that occurred in Cuyahoga County.

If you are hiring and need compliant, reliable background check information, please contact us. Our experienced team will help you create custom background screening packages that empower you to get the data you need to make informed decisions and create a safe work environment. We are available to assist you Monday through Friday from 5am to 6pm PT.