Can I lose a job for having a criminal conviction? 7 Answers as of May 05, 2011

Can an employer choose to not hire me based only on a felony/misdemeanor which has NOTHING to do with the job? I have been turned down for jobs which I am HIGHLY qualified for and one employer told me the conviction was the reason!

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Absolutely. Alabama is an at-will employment state. Every employee works at the will of the employer. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/5/2011
Law Office of Andrew Subin
Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
Unless you have an employment contract that says otherwise, they can fire you for any reason or no reason.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/4/2011
Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick
Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick | Karen Kilpatrick
Yes, unfortunately many employers screen prospective employees this way and will not hire anyone with a conviction, related or not to the job. I'm not an employment attorney, but from my knowledge this is legitimate and the courts do not consider this a form of actionable discrimination.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/3/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
Thank you for your question. In Michigan, an employer can choose to not hire someone based on most any reason. (Discrimination concerns aside). It is not discrimination to not hire someone based on a prior conviction. There is no right to have a job. Therefore, while it is unfortunate, you cannot force someone to hire you even though you are highly qualified. You may be eligible for an expungement if you have only one conviction for any misdemeanor or felony and 5 years have gone by since the conviction. (Exception: excluded offenses, generally capital felonies) If in need of assistance for an expungement, you may contact me to review your situation.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/2/2011
Klisz Law Office, PLLC
Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
Yes, you can. The only exception for you is to have the only conviction expunged. If you have more than one conviction, current law will not help you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/1/2011
    David B. Sacks, P.A.
    David B. Sacks, P.A. | David Sacks
    In Florida, unless you can show that others with the same or similar convictions on their records WERE hired and you were NOT hired, then you would not have a case for a failure to hire. The disparate treatment, if such existed, would have to be based on a suspect classification, i.e. age, race, gender, religion, nationality, some disability, or in Florida, HIV or marital status.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/1/2011
    The Woods Law Firm
    The Woods Law Firm | F.W. Woods Jr.
    Yes. South Carolina is a right to work state where an employer can fire you for good cause, bad cause or no cause at all.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 5/2/2011
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