Can my not being hired due to a past criminal arrest be ground for an employment discrimination claim or unfair practices claim?

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Can my not being hired due to a past criminal arrest be ground for an employment discrimination claim or unfair practices claim?

Trying to obtain my old job back in casino. I reapplied for the job, interviewed, and advised that paperwork was being sent up to rehire me. However, was then advised that they were going another route. While I was working for them previously, I was arrested for sexual battery and was found not guilty. Case was dismissed. The charge was not work-related. Spoke with the gaming commission and I can get licensed, however they advised that it was up to the employor to make a decision on my re-employment. What shall I do?

Asked on October 13, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What you need to do is to go and get the record of the arrest erased or "expunged" or sealed.  The dismissal should be taken care of in most states but I would check that to be sure. An expungement is an application made to he court to allow you to erase the arrest and what came after from your record.  Then you will not have to disclose it on an application for employment and employers (with some exceptions) can not see it on a background check.  You should run your own background check once the expungement is granted to be sure.  Employers at will - which is what these employers are - have a right to refuse employment except to those is a protected class: religion, color, etc.  Your situation does not place you in a protected class.  Good luck.


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