I was fired because of my criminal background

Asked over 2 years ago - Las Vegas, NV

I started working with this company in November 2011. I NEVER filled out an application asking me about a criminal conviction, and I was never asked about my criminal background in my interview, nor did I ever sign a background check waiver. I worked above and beyond. I worked weekends, deadlines until midnight, never took personal time off. Nothing. I was always being commended for my performance and tenacity by my supervisor and owner. On the first few days of April 2012, I had a bad fall at work, and at the end of the work day, I was terminated. I was not given a reason at the time of termination. I filed for WC as per the law. I have found out through my WC insurance that my position was terminated because of my criminal background. Should I seek legal representation?

Additional information

A footnote: WC stated that having a criminal background is not termed as gross misconduct. As per WC carrier, employer could not give ANY other reason. WC said that even if I had a "poor work performance" it could not be considered either. I need HELP

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Malik W. Ahmad

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Did you file an unemployment claim with the State of Nevada? And if, did you employer opposed it. Because if they did not oppose, it may become the first ground which can go in your favor. Further, Nevada is at will state which means you can be terminated with reason, no reason, or just bad reason. How did you corelate your criminal record with termination. Maybe they seen it does not look good. Further, I suggest sealing of record. Our office does that even though you can go to any attorney of your choice. I also suggest that check out if you were terminated because of your WC. That alone would be enough to get your job back. But it has a strict time line to follow.

    Only see a licensed attorney before you make any decision. This answer may not be perfect in any given situation.... more
  2. Paul Y. Lee

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . Unless you have more facts than what you have posted, you may be out of luck. Nevada, like most states, is an "at will" employment state. An employer can terminate an employee for any reason or no reason. Terminating an employee for having a criminal background does not constitue wrongful termination. A wrongful termination occurs only if the discharge is made in a discriminatory manner that violates public policy. An employee may not be discharged for discriminatory reasons, such as race, gender, age, national origin, religion or sexual orientation. An employee also may not be discharged in retaliation for refusing to comply with an illegal directive of the employer, or for engaging in certain other protected activities, or if the employment contract or collective bargaining agreement provides that the employee can only be discharged for cause. The reason for your termination appears unrelated to any of these protected categories, and hence your employer appears to have been within his right to terminate you. You may want to speak to an employee rights lawyer to further discuss your situation.

    This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not... more

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