Possibly. Employers can use any criteria they wish to deny employment to an individual so long as it is not forbidden by law. It is not yet forbidden to deny employment on the basis of a criminal conviction.
Bradley Law Firm, LLC
I am in agreement with my colleague's assessment. I would add that the reason employers often ask for that information is because they want to know two things:
1. If you are going to be honest on your application; and
2. If you are going to be an employee that commits white collar crime and steals from them.
This may shed some light as to why it has not been outlawed as a means of determining whether or not a person is employable.
Best of Luck!
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They can deny you employment for a lot less than that. Lets say you are looking for a job as home health aid. Your employer would be concerned about both your ability to carry out the responisbilities of the job as well as a possible propensity to steal as evidenced by the retail theft. If they were to place you in a home with an elderly person and something went missing you can imagine the repercussions the employer may face if the home owner / patient blamed you. So the short answer is yes.
That said the employer may only ask for certain convictions ie misdemeanors and above so if the retail theft was a summary then you may not have to report it and it may not show up.
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