Can you be denied employment based on a pending felony charge?

Asked about 1 year ago - New York, NY

I was given a job contract for a great job (with a start date in 6 months, full time hire), accepted it, and ~3 months later I was charged with a 2nd degree and 4th degree felony. So when I began the job it was ~3 months after being charged but the case is still pending with no court dates assigned yet. The company didn't run the background check though until I began working, so they saw the charges and terminated me after being there for two weeks due to my background check (not due to lying on my application, as I did not).

I have done some reading, specifically the NYS Human Rights Law, and was wondering if I was wrongfully terminated. I was technically terminated by the outsourced HR company, my employer liked me a lot but said that he had to do it. Any advice?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Jayson Lutzky

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Consultation with a local employment lawyer. Is it worth suing if you have a good relationship with an outsourcing company?

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  2. Vincent Peter White

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You may have viable claims, especially if your employment was within New York City. I would arrange a free consultation with an experienced employment attorney near you.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any... more
  3. James K. Lyder

    Contributor Level 11

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are not protected by NYS Human Rights Law (Executive Law 296(16)) since the charges are pending. What your employer did appears to be legal to me. I would suggest that if the charges are resolved in your favor (dismissal or acquittal) you reapply.

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