Skip to main content

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

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


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

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

1 comment



Thank you for the reply. Just to clarify, the company I worked for isn't an outsourcing company but rather they outsource their HR department. I wouldn't want to make a big deal and sue, but rather deal with just the HR company. I believe that the company would happily take me back if the HR company would approve me. My main question though, can a company refuse to hire you based on charges that are unrelated to your job? The law appears to be conflicting since NY is an "at will employment" but also the Human Rights Law.


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 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 (!/WhiteRoseMarks) or Facebook ( if you have follow up questions as we do not monitor questions after providing an initial answer.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree


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.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics