Preventive Law for Employers
EEOC, Kiernan's Corner, NJ Employment Law, Unemployment

Criminal Convictions Can Lead to Unemployment

Kiernan’s Corner  is happy to feature a guest post this time, by  my NJ Attorneys List collegaue Adam Rosenblum:

 Studies have shown that criminal convictions make it much harder to secure employment and, quite often, are a factor employers consider when firing people.

When you take this into consideration, along with the fact that the unemployment rate is at the highest we have seen in decades, the result is rather daunting.

If you were recently charged with a crime and are having a hard time finding a job, make sure to familiarize yourself with all of your legal options and contact an experienced attorney who can help you.

If you are an employer currently on the other end of a lawsuit, the following information will be vital to helping you defend yourself.

Information for Employers

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a blanket refusal to hire a person simply because they have a criminal record is illegal if it has a disparate impact on racial minorities or is considered discriminatory.

Remember, having a criminal record is not expressly listed as a protected category underNew   Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD).

However, the agency that enforces theLAD, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR), takes the position that it is discriminatory to inquire about an applicant’s number and kinds of arrests.

According to the DCR, an employer can only inquire about convictions that bear a relationship to the job and have not been expunged or sealed by a court.

For example, if a bank wants to hire a teller, that bank will be able to ask if the prospective employee has ever embezzled money and can look into the person’s background in order to verify what he says.

Nevertheless, the bank will not be able to ask if the individual was ever convicted of drug possession.

Lastly, like the EEOC, the DCR has often commented that a criminal conviction cannot serve as an absolute bar to employment.

Information for Employees

Typically, there are three general approaches that you can take in order to get a job despite having a criminal record or to use the law to help you improve your situation.

First, you can do everything in your power to educate yourself while serving your sentence.

There are several institutions that will allow you to pursue a GED and Baccalaureate degrees while in prison. Once you complete the degree, you can use it as a springboard into the job market.

However, even with a college degree you will likely face problems in the job market due to the stigma attached to having a criminal conviction.

Therefore, the second option available to you is attempting to expunge it altogether. InNew   Jersey, you will have to wait a fair amount of time after serving your sentence before you will be eligible for an expungement.

However, if you meet all of the requirements, most employers will never know that you were ever charged or convicted of a crime.

The third option available to you is to sue for employment discrimination.

If you truly believe that you are being discriminated against on account of your race or minority status or simply due to the fact that you were convicted of a crime, you can sue the employer that fired you or refused to hire you.

Take Action: It Can Happen to You

We cannot stress enough just how bad a criminal record looks to an employer and the need to do something about it.

Just recently, a woman was hired as a public school bus driver. However, after the bus company looked into her past, it discovered that she was arrested for prostitution several years before getting the job.

After the company delved into the public record and verified the information’s veracity, she was fired.

This happens much more frequently than you might think. Do not let it happen to you.

If you were charged with a crime, contact an experienced NJ criminal defense attorney today to help you before it has the ability to negatively impact your employment prospects.

In the event that your company is currently being sued for employment discrimination, be sure to contact an experienced attorney trained to defend your rights.

Author Bio

Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm is licensed to practice in both New York and New Jersey and is an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Comments are closed.

Who is Ann Kiernan?

Ann Kiernan is an employment lawyer who has been practicing law in New Jersey for more than 30 years. She represents only employers and management and regularly provides management training companies big and small. Employment law is constantly changing, and Ann is familiar how these changes affect employers. To keep up-to-date and learn what issues are currently affecting businesses and employers in New Jersey, read the blog.

Contacting Ann Kieran

The Law Office of Ann F. Kiernan is located at

210 New York Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ

Ann may be reached via telephone at 732-846-3201 and email.

Legal Disclaimer

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should not act or rely on any legal information on the World Wide Web without obtaining the advice of an attorney. The selection of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising. Before making your choice of attorney, you should give this matter careful thought. To learn more, click here.