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Can pending charges with only an arrest and no conviction be used to disqaulify employment at a retail store?

Albany, GA |

I was arrested 3 months ago for shoplifting at a retail store I worked for, for 4 years.This is my first arrests and I have not been convicted.A court date hasnt even been set yet.I have no prior arrests or convictions. I am now trying to find another job in retail before I get a court date. Can a retail store use my arrest against me with no conviction?

Remember. The arrest was 3 months ago.I dont know if that will help or not. be 99.9% before you answer please. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 3


Most states allow an employer to hire anyone they want to hire. They do not have to hire you if they see you are charged, convicted or if they just don't want you. Right to work states have some different laws. They cannot discriminate in hiring though for other reasons.(race, sex, etc.) A company may not hire you, but give a false reason why you were not hired. Some companies insurance policies will not cover them if they hire a person with a criminal record.


Georgia is what is called an "employment at will" state, which means an employer can make an employment decision, such as hiring or firing, for any non illegal purpose. So even though you have not been tried or convicted on these charges an employer can decided not to hire you based on them. Keep in mind you are just beginning to see the trouble that can come from these charges, you certainly do not want to be convicted if at all possible. Ask your attorney about expungement and what will show up on your GCIC before you make any decisions about what to do about the charges when you get to court.


Sure it can.

With certain limited exceptions not applicable here, a store can basically hire and refuse to hire whoever it wants to. I don't know why an employer would necessarily know about your shoplifting arrest unless you were foolish enough to volunteer that information. Most job applications only ask about convictions or felonies; not unproven arrests. So, if you unnecessarily and voluntarily informed the prospective employer about the shoplifting arrest he most certainly can use it against you if he chooses to do so.

Dean R. Fuchs

This post is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created or intended.

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