Can an employernot hireyou for something that the job applicationstated would not effect employment?

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Can an employernot hireyou for something that the job applicationstated would not effect employment?

If you fill out a job application and it asks if you have ever been convicted of a felony and if you answer yes it will not effect the outcome of you getting the job, what happens if you do answer yes and they tell you that’s exactly the reason why you didn’t get the job? Isn’t that discrimination of some kind? I got hired on by Coke and told them and put on my application of a DUI i had 4 years ago and they hired me and I went for my drug test and everything and then they tell me that they can’t hire me cause of the DUI and they are not the only company. What can I do?

Asked on July 15, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, employment in the United States is everywhere employment at will, which means that employers may refuse to hire prospective employees for any reason whatsoever, as long as they are not discriminating against a protected category, such as against a race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability status. If it's not a protected category, employers may legitimately base employment decisions on it. This includes conviction status--employers ask about  because they are allowed to take it into account. The unfortuantely fact is, not all forms of "discrimination" are illegal--only those specifically outlawed. If it's not protected by law, employers may base decisions on it.

That's the general rule. In your specific case, IF the application states that you will not be denied employment on the basis of that answer, but yet, that is why you were denied employment, it is not impossible that you might have a breach of contract claim against the prospective employer. If you feel strongly enough about the job, the prospective salary, or the situation, you might take a copy of the application and consult with an employment attorney. Good luck.


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