Can an employee be fired for being a sex offender?

A friend was looking for a job and was turned down due to his background check which he listed on his application. After speaking with corporate HR, he gave the company copies of his plea to attempted sex offense and made sure they had all the information. After working a week, he was escorted out of the local office stating that a manager told other employees he was a convicted sex offender level 1, the lowest and even the paperwork from the judge stated “least likely to re-offend” and he was not to return to the store. Can a corporation hire and then local store fire on these grounds?

Asked on September 8, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be fired for being a sex offender. All employment is employment at will unless there was a written employment contract employment at will means, among other things, that an employer may choose to not hire anyone it likes, or to fire/terminate anyone it likes, for any reason not specifically prohibited by law. Since the law does not protect sex offenders from employment discrimination, the employer may fire your friend for this reason.

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