Is it discrimination if an employer does not hire any felons?

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Is it discrimination if an employer does not hire any felons?

Asked on July 8, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is not illegal discrimination. Employment in this country is employment at will: employers are free to decide whom to hire or not hire *unless* they make that decision based on a specifically protected category or characteristic, the main ones of which are race, sex, religion, age over 40, and disability. However, no law obligates an employer to hire a felon; "felon" is not a protected category. Therefore, the employer may freely decide to not hire felons.


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