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Can I be fired for a pending felony Class C charge working at an airport?

Jamaica, NY |

I was Hired January 28 2011 and when i filled out the paperwork and the question they asked was "were you ever convicted of a felony" I answered NO but I was Arrested Feb 2 and I currently have pending charges for drug posession. They did fingerprints for extensive background check on me on Feb 13th and I am affaid the arrest may show. If my charges may be lessen or even dropped in the near future how can I go about this situation. Should I inform my employer that this occured but will most likely not be convicted. I didn't technically lie when I answered if I was convicted because i wasn't at the time and still ain't. According to the rules and regulations of the company hiring me as a Ticket Agent, as long as the behavior or arrest don't directly affect my work performance i am ok.

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Attorney answers 4


New York is an at-will State so unless you have a contract your employer can fire you at any time for any reason or no reason so long as its not a discriminatory reason. In my experience, airport employers are harsher than others do to security clearance issues. I suggest you retain a good criminal defense attorney. I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 15 years.

Eric Rothstein
11 Park Place, Suite 1801
New York, New York 10007
Phone: 212-385-8015
Free consultations by phone or in person

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 385-8015 or via email at The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


As an at-will employee, absent special exceptions provided by state law, you may be terminated for no reason, a good or bad reason, fair or unfair reason, factually correct or incorrect reason. Typically, employers will often fire employees who have been arrested whether convicted or not.


Although you didn’t lie on your application, your employer doesn’t need that as a reason to terminate your employment (unless you have a contract). A class C felony is a serious offense and you have more than just you job on the line. I suggest you speak with an attorney ASAP.


Unless you have an employment contract, they can fire you for any reason including your current arrest. It sounds based on the rules and regulations that you cited, there is a good chance of retaining your job, especially if you beat this case. You should consult with an experienced criminal lawyer who maybe able to use your job situation to help convince the DA to be lenient on your current felony.

Richard Southard
I am a former Deputy Bureau Chief with the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office who has been specializing in criminal law for over 15 years.

All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication. For a privileged private consultation, contact me at 212-385-8600 or via my website