Can an employee be fired for a criminal case that was dropped?

My fiance had 2 misdemeanor charges.He missed the first court date because he was out of town. So he received a failure to appear for not showing. However when he did go to court for it was dropped; they dropped the whole case. He’s been working at his new job for 3 months and they are trying to fire him for his background the failure to appear is still on his record even though they dropped the case. Is this wrongful termination? Is there anything he can do to keep his job since the case was dropped?

Asked on October 21, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The key issue is whether your fiance has an employment contract or not. If he has some form of employment contract or agreement (including a union agreement covering his employment), then if that agreement addresses grounds or procedure for termination, he can only be terminated in accordance with that contract.

However, if he does not have an employment contract, he is an employee at will. An employee at will can be fired at any time for any reason. Therefore, if he is an employee at will, it is almost certain that he can be terminated; employees at will have very little protection against termination. It doesn't matter if the case was dropped, since an employee at will can be terminated for any reason.

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