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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1801
Experience:  California lawyer since 1976.
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Are we required to keep in our employ a person who failed to

Customer Question

Are we required to keep in our employ a person who failed to tell us he's a registered sex offender?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 5 years ago.
Hello Restaurantlady and welcome to JustAnswer.

In most states, employment is referred to as "at will", which means that with only limited exceptions, you can hire and fire anyone you want for any reason you want.

The exceptions would include termination based on one of the so-called "suspect classifications" (gender, race, religion, etc.), or where there is a labor agreement or personal contract the terms of which define the circumstances under which employees can be terminated.

Therefore, failure to reveal registered sex offender status, particularly if asked during the hiring process, would be appropriate grounds for termination.

If you let me know what state you are in, I can tell you whether or not it is an "at will" employment state.

Thanks for asking your question here on JustAnswer. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Edit: Your optional and already tried information showed up after I posted the foregoing, so I now see that you are in Ohio, which is an "at will" employment state. Therefore, what I said above applies to your situtation.

Therefore, if you terminate this person now, he would not be able to successfully sue you for wrongful termination.

On the other hand, unless you asked him during the hiring process if he was a registered sex offender and he failed to answer the question truthfully, he would be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits if you terminate him now.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Jim, I'm just a little confused by your last paragraph...

 

We did not ask him during the interview, nor did he disclose that he is a sex offender.

Can I fire him legally and will I have to pay unemployment benefits in Ohio?

Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 5 years ago.
Sorry for the confusion. What I meant was that if you asked the question during the hiring process and he failed to answer the question truthfully, you could fire him and he would not be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Since you did not ask, however, he was under no obligation to disclose that information. Therefore, if you terminate him for that reason, he will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

In summary, you can legally fire him for this reason and that would not be grounds for discrimination or wrongful termination lawsuit. That doesn't mean he won't sue you, but it does mean that he can't win on that basis.
Jim Reilly, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1801
Experience: California lawyer since 1976.
Jim Reilly and 10 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your help. I'll sleep better tonight.
Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 5 years ago.
You're welcome, I am happy to have been able to help. And thank you for the accept and kind feedback comments.

Good luck with this situation.

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