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I was terminated due to my background, and I put it on my application is there anything I can do about it?

Glassboro, NJ |

I was hired at a local community college as a part time temp after 6 weeks of work I received a letter saying that I was terminated because of my background. When I applied I did say yes to the question have I been convicted of a felony. I don't see why they would hire me in the first place if I told them I don't see how this is right.

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

Unless you are represented by a union with a collective bargaining agreement in place that provides otherwise, or unless you have civil service-type protections to your position, your employer may lawfully terminate you for a felony in your background even if the employer previously hired you with knowledge of that prior offense. The law does not presume that the employer's needs and resources and business objectives will simply remain static over the course of time. What could be overlooked at the employer's option at one point in time does not bind the employer to accept at all points in time.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

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Posted

Most likely-NO-unless you have an employment contract that protects you or represented by a union.
Very sorry-doesn't seem right.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.

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Posted

Unfortunately, the aspect of your background to which you are referring is not a category for which the laws of NJ offer any protection against adverse hiring/firing decisions. Absent a showing that the reason for termination was for an impermissible reason, there is nothing else you can do.

You can check in with the Division on Civil Rights within 180 days after the alleged act of discrimination. Such a complaint can be filed at any of the four regional offices of the NJ Division of Civil Rights listed here:

http://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/localcontact-phone.html

There is a number for Camden which is the one you could try. Before doing so, I would recommend doing a little research at the NJ Division of Civil Rights website at www.nj.gov/oag/dcr. As the other attorneys who responded (and I, too) have mentioned, your particular termination does not appear to be motivated by a legally impermissible basis, and it is doubtful that there is anything this or any other agency could do to help you. However, it is always good to know your rights.

Best of luck to you.

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Posted

Your situation is a rising problem in the U.S where a number of people have been convicted for past charges, such as drug offenses committed in their youth and a record these offenses remain into adulthood despite a record of law abiding behavior since. According to one estimate, there are currently over 12 million felons in the United States, representing roughly 8% of the working-age population. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has interpreted the Civil Rights Act to require that, where an employment policy of a state, municipal, or private employer that discriminates against criminals will have a disparate racial impact, employers must show a business necessity before automatically disqualifying criminals. But, some statutes prohibit hiring criminals for certain types of jobs, such as health care or education, and forbid licensing boards from distributing licenses to criminals or require the boards to consider the applicant's moral character. Professions requiring licensing can include Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics, billiard room employees, attorneys, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, barbers, embalmers, septic tank cleaners, realtors, accountants, contractors, and sellers of alcoholic beverages. Such regulations sometimes result from lobbying by professional communities seeking to raise barriers to entry.
Therefore, unless race is a factor, there is little you can do to with regard to the temp position at the college. However, I do suggest that you contact an attorney in order to have your record expunged. You will not be required to disclose your criminal background for future employment prospects.
There is currently legislation pending in some states that make it illegal to terminate or refuse to hire based on a criminal background unless that criminal conviction may directly impact the employer's business. There is no such pending legislation in New Jersey.

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Posted

Two articles regarding your issue below. While reading, keep in mind that the EEOC generally acts as an impediment and/or a barrier towards individuals who are trying to get their cases heard in Court.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/03/end_the_madness_at_the_eeoc.html

http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2013/06/11/rejecting-applicants-with-criminal-backgrounds-a-government-lawsuit-may-follow/

Disclaimer: Any information provided through this forum is meant merely for informational purposes and is not legal/medical/tax advice. No attorney-client relationship exists as a result of this communication and to establish such a relationship, a potential client must enter into a written contract with the attorney. This attorney has not agreed to handle your case, nor will he do so until you have signed a written retainer agreement which outlines the obligations of both parties.

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