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Is it legal for a job to fire you if you have a youthful offender conviction and you put never convicted on a job application?

Mahopac, NY |

I was convicted as a youthful offender in new York and even though i was told it would not be a part of my record but it comes up in my background checks and i always get fired. And if i do put it down i never get hired in the first place

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Attorney answers 6


It should not show as it is a sealed record and is not a conviction but rather an adjudication.
You cannot be fired for that so re-post this in employment law.

Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


I moved the question to the area of employment/labor law because that should be more pertinent.

On the topic, my understanding is that unless the application specifically asked if you had ever been adjudicated as a "youthful offender" you are not required to disclose that fact; however, if you are asked that specific question, then you should answer honestly.

Provided you don't lie - that is, fail to disclose something you're required to disclose - then it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you on the basis of a conviction (although since you were adjudicated a "youthful offender" I'm not sure how the same provision of the Penal Law applies).

You should definitely consider consulting with an employment/labor attorney to see if you have any sort of remedy available to you.

My answer does not constitute legal advice and may not be relied upon by anyone for any purpose and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship or an offer to form such a relationship. This disclaimer is intended to be fully compliant with the requirements of Treasury Department Circular 230 and the terms thereof are fully incorporated by reference. If you wish to consult with me please contact me at dana@nytaxcounsel or visit my website at


It should not show up on your background check. If for some reason it is showing up you should make sure the Court's docket is correct.

Generally an employer cannot even ask you about a YO adjudication (there are a few exceptions for miltary, fbi, etc.) and Certainly cannot use a YO adjudication in decision-making.

Ryan Finn * 518.213.0115 * * Referrals are the highest form of compliment * Hacker Murphy serves clients throughout New York State and always pays referring attorneys a reasonable referral fee in contingency cases


Under the new EEOC guidelines, an automatic bar from employment for a criminal conviction is illegal. So long as you did not lie on your employment application, the potential employer must give you an opportunity to explain the circumstances of the conviction, must show that it is more likely than not that someone convicted of this offense will commit a crime again, and that your conviction will have a negative impact on your ability to perform the job you are applying for. Similarly, the New York Penal Code permits employers to use criminal convictions when making employment decisions only under specific circumstances.

The information provided above is for general purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Seek competent legal representation, because the facts of each case are different.


You were never "convicted" as a y.o. Here, it depends upon how the question was asked. It sounds as if you were fired perhaps not for the non-existent offense, but for lying on the application. I would look into the Department of Criminal Justice Services and aske them why your record is not sealed in accordance with law if it was not sealed. There may be a secondary source of the information of which you are unaware but accessible by people who check backgrounds. In any event, you should consider contacting someone concerning the employment law aspects as one of the foregoing attorneys has suggested.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice which requires all the details, nor creates an attorney client relationship.


A YO should not show up on a normal background check unless you are applying for a governmental or military position such as FBI, police officer, armed services, etc. You should get a Certificate of Disposition from the clerk of that court, it is usually $10 and see if you were granted YO status in the first place. If not you need a 440.10 motion to vacate the conviction and get the YO and the file sealed. Modern technology is growing every day and some employers are using private detectives that are ex-police officers and they are getting the entire background of a person, nit just what Albany gives them. They may have access to the poilce NYSID computer that will show the original arrest. If that arrest was for robbery, burglary, or drug sales the employer may not want to hire you. Please choose "best answer" if this was helpful.

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