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Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC

Employment claims for discrimination based on criminal history

| Jun 6, 2019 | Employment Law for Employees |

New Yorkers who have problems in their past will inevitably be concerned that they will impact them in the future. For those who have a criminal history, getting a job can be a challenge. However, it is important to note that illegal workplace discrimination against those who have a criminal history can warrant a legal filing. Mistakes do not mean that a person does not have the right to be treated fairly and within the law. Understanding important points about how those with criminal records are protected when they seek employment or already have employment can help when there is a belief that discrimination has taken place.

When a person with a criminal history applies for a job, the employer is required to analyze the application and the history to decide if the conviction had any link to the job the applicant is seeking. An employer can deny a person with a criminal history employment if the conviction was connected to the job he or she will be doing and the hire would present an unreasonable risk. If a candidate is going to be rejected because of a criminal past, the employer is required to take several factors into account. That includes how much time has passed since the criminal act, how old the person was when the offense was committed, and if there is evidence that the person has been rehabilitated.

An employer is not allowed to take certain steps when they are considering a person with a criminal past for a job. They cannot disqualify the person, fire a person who already has the job, or deprive the person of promotions because of their criminal history. An applicant cannot be asked about previous arrests if they were not convicted. Youthful offender incidents cannot be subject to questioning as part of the interview process. Relevant information like the person’s background, how old they were when the offense happened, and if there was rehabilitation cannot be ignored.

It is hard enough for people who have a criminal record to get back on the straight and narrow and hold a legitimate job without their past coming back to haunt them. Their civil rights can be violated if they are mistreated because of a criminal past. If there was illegal workplace discrimination or wrongful termination, the victim should contact a law firm that specializes in employment law for employees for assistance in employment claims.