If job ads state that they won’t hire people with misdemeanors or felonies, aren’t such blanket policies illegal?

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If job ads state that they won’t hire people with misdemeanors or felonies, aren’t such blanket policies illegal?

These are jobs that have nothing to do with the 3 misdemeanors on my record, they’re all general labor, such as warehouse workers or roustabouts. What kind of action can I take and do I have to actually apply and be denied first in order to take such action? Can I sue?

Asked on August 5, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have no legal right truly to sue whether you applied or otherwise. A private company can disallow someone with a criminal record from being hired; that is up to the policy of the company as long as it is not discriminatory based on the traditional and legally recognized categories of discrimination (think pregnancy, race, disability).  You can certainly apply but I am unsure if you are going to have a legally recognizable claim if you are not hired.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of most states in this country such an overt act of prejudice against someone who has been convicted of a crime is illegal. When one has served time and paid his or her dues to society, he or she should be entitled to a new start. I suggest that a labor attorney be consulted about what you have written about.


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