What to do if I was placed on administrative leave for a felony conviction that I disclosed to my employer?

I have been employed at a non-profit for the past 4 years. Then 8 months ago, I was convicted of felony embezzlement from a previous employer. I was up front with my supervisor and director once I was charged with this crime.I received 5 years probation and have to pay restitution. My employers allowed me to continue working and everything has been fine.The organization has now hired a new director who has placed me on administrative leave (paid) while they investigate how my felony may affect funding for the organization. Do I have any recourse or should I start updating my resume?

Asked on August 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have an employment contract, union agreement or other protection against possible termination under the circumstances (via company policy, etc.) I'm afraid that you have no legal recourse here. As an "at will" employee your employer can set the terms and conditions of your employment much as it sees fit. The fact is that it has been more understanding to date about the incident than most. Additionally, discharging you due to the offense does not constitute actionable disctimination and is therefore perfectly permissable under the law. 

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