Is it illegal to not hire based off of 2 non-convictions on my record?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it illegal to not hire based off of 2 non-convictions on my record?

I applied to the YMCA and went for 2 interviews and they told me that I was perfect for the job. Then, 5 days later, I then got a call about a 3rd interview to

discuss my background check. So I go in and meet with Human Resources and she handed me a copy of my record. We talked about it and she said that they would be in touch before the end of the week. It’s been 2 weeks since my last

interview and no call. I believe they are avoiding my calls and don’t want to hire

me based off my criminal record. I’ve hade 2 cases on my record both which

are non-convictions, 9 and 7 years ago respectively. I’m 24.

Asked on February 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it is perfectly legal to not hire based on a criminal background or record--even non-convictions. That is because employment in this country is "employment at will," whick means that employers can decide to not hire someone for any reason whatsoever, so long as that reason is not prohibited by law--and there is no prohibition against not hiring due to criminal cases.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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