Is it legal for a company to decide not to hire you because of a misdemeanor charge from five years ago?

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Is it legal for a company to decide not to hire you because of a misdemeanor charge from five years ago?

My husband went for an interview on
December 18,2018. They told him
orientation was on December 20,
2018 at 3pm. They called two hours
before orientation and said they
wasn’t going to hire him over a
misdemeanor charge from five years
ago. I’d like to know if that is
legal because it feels like the
discriminated against him.

Asked on December 20, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is legal. Employers may refuse to hire someone for any reason not specifically prohibited by law (e.g. they cannot discriminate in hiring due to race, color, sex, religion, disability, national origin, or age 40 or over). There is no protection for having a criminal record--even one that is only a misdemeanor from years ago; the law allows employers to refuse to hire due to criminal records. Therefore, this was legal.


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