Can my employer fire me for being convicted of a felony after i was already employed?

Asked about 1 year ago - Bartow, FL

I was hired by a company in Florida in June of this year. I had no criminal history at all, besides a couple of speeding tickets. In the middle of August I was arrested and charged with Grand Theft and Criminal Use of Personal ID. After all was said and done with the case, adjudication was withheld on both charges, and I was placed on probation for a year. I was told by my employer to let them know what the outcome of the case was. When I told them the disposition of the case they terminated me with no reason other than I was convicted of the crime. Is this allowed in Florida?

Additional information

I don't know if it makes a difference, but the company that I was working for knows that I am a gay male, and I was always treated differently by the management because of this.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Gregg R. Brennan

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . The employer is within their rights to terminate you based upon your criminal case, whether you were adjudicated guilty or not, as Florida is an at-will employment state whereby you can be terminated for any reason, just so long as it's not based upon your membership in a protected class. Sexual orientation is not recognized as a protected class, unlike gender, age, race, religion or disability, so even if that was their real motivation in terminating your employment there's nothing you can do.

    An attorney-client relationship is NOT created by the answering of this question. If you would like to discuss... more
  2. Betty Elaine Jones

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . I agree with Attorney Brennan, Florida is an "at-will" employment state. As long as the dismissal is not based on a discriminatory reason that is covered under the law, you can be dismissed for any reason. However, the employer is wrong if they dismissed you because they think you were convicted. You indicated that the adjudication was withheld, that means you were not convicted. Good luck.

    Sincerely,
    B. Elaine Jones, Esq.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

25,686 answers this week

3,238 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

25,686 answers this week

3,238 attorneys answering