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Can a potential employer disclose criminal charges listed on job application to your current employer?

Rochester, NY |

I just returned to my old employer at the time I submitted my job application charges were still pending. My current employer application asked had I ever been convicted of a crime I said selected no because they didn't ask about pending charges. Well I plead guilty to Promoting Prison Contraband 2nd degree and went for an interview at another organization. The supervisor who interviewed me knows some of my supervisors... Can she disclose what I put on the application and also can I be terminated if my background check came back clean at my current employer prior to the info being disclosed?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If what they disclosed is true, then there is no cause of action that I see. Truth is a defense to defamation. There is no such thing as employer/employee privilege, and therefore, there is no legal bar to them disclosing information or talking about you. Also, these things are public record and there is no legal expectation of privacy in this info. If NY is an at will employment state, your employer can let you go without really needing any reason. The unlawful discrimination is that which is based on race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability, and familiar status--and even then, it is a high burden to prove.

    We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I have made do not constitute legal advice. Any statements I have made are based upon the very limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in California.


  2. Based on the information provided here there would not seem to be any restraint on the potential job from disclosing that information.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction. Additionally, we also encourage you to reach out to us via Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/employattorney) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WhiteRicottaandMarks) if you have follow up questions as we do not monitor questions after providing an initial answer.


  3. More information may be necessary to make a full determination. Based on the information you provided, it does not seem that you would have a claim against the potential employer.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction. Additionally, we also encourage you to reach out to us via Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/employattorney) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WhiteRicottaandMarks) if you have follow up questions as we do not monitor questions after providing an initial answer.

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