Is it legal to refuse employment to an person who has a misdemeanor on their record?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it legal to refuse employment to an person who has a misdemeanor on their record?

It is 4 years old, non-violent and does not involve theft in any way; it was for Public Intoxication. Will this show up on a background check for a position I am applying for? Could this keep me from employment with the company I am applying for?

Asked on June 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Virginia, like many states, adheres to at-will employment principles.  This means that an employer and employee can enter or end the employment relationship at any time for any reason (as long the reason is not an illegal purpose--like gender discrimination).  In the context of your question, it will depend on the preferences of your future employer.  Many won't be concerned-- it's a misdemeanor, it's older, it's not for theft, you didn't hurt anyone.  However, some employers will consider it if it shows up on a background check.  Because it's a public intox charge, it may or may not show up depending on how detailed the company performing the search.  Some will focus on felonies and higher level misdemeanors.  Others will get every public record they can.  In the end, whether or not this will affect you will depend on the potential employer and the background company they use.  If they want to use it as a basis to decline you employment, they can.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption