Can a company fire an employee after 7 weeks because oftheir criminal background?

The company was completely informed of his background prior to them hiring him. He (the employee) was very upfront about his background; the store managers of the store had nothing but great things to say about his job performance. The decision to fire him was made by someone in their corporate offices, even though they already knew about his background prior to him being hired. Is this fair of them? Is this a possible case of wrong full termination?

Asked on September 28, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A case of  “wrongful termination” is one in which an employer has discharged or laid off an employee in violation of a legal right of the employee. It is not enough for the employee to simply show that they were treated unfairly; the person must show that the firing was “wrongful” meaning one or more legal rights were violated. For example, did your discharge violate a stated company policy or a union/employment agreement? Also, was your termination due to some type of discrimination? There can be no discrimination in the workplace based on your being a member of a "protected class"; such as one based on age, religion, race, sex, national origin, or the like. Unfortunately, having a criminal record does not qualify. The fact is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at will". This means that you can work for an employer, or not, your choice; and an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever. While seemingly unfair, it's the law.

If however, you think that you still might have a valid claim here, why don't you consult with an employment law attorney in your area.


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