If I just told my employer that I was convicted of a felony, can it legally fire me?

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If I just told my employer that I was convicted of a felony, can it legally fire me?

I was convicted of Felony Theft and received this job at a non-profit orginization. By law I had to tell my employer of my Felony, so I did. Now I am most certain that I will be getting let go and I want to know if I have any rights in this?

Asked on December 21, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Montana

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you would have no legal recourse for wrongful termination.  The reason is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at will".  This means that you can choose to work for an employer or not, and an employer can hire or fire you for any reason, no reason, or even a bad reason.  While unfair it's the law.

Exceptions to the above would be if this action was not allowed due to the terms of an employment contract/union agreement, or it is contrary to company policy.  Also, discrimination must not have played a role in your termination. For example, your termination cannot be due to your membership in a protected class; in other words, you cannot be fired due to reasons of race, relgion, national origin, or the like.  Unfortunately, being a convicted felon doesn't put you in a class which is protected. 


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