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I've been working for 5 years at my job and now my employer…

I've been working for...

I've been working for 5 years at my job and now my employer is saying that because of my felony conviction almost 30 years I may lose my job. Can they do this?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Texas, I work for the city in EMS

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

Full time

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I don't think so

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Answered in 22 minutes by:
3/9/2018
Attorney Wendy
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,424
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I have been an attorney for about 20 years. Do you recall at the time of your hiring if the application asked if you had any convictions or if your employer conducted a background check at that time?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I do not believe it asked. I had a telephone conversation and discolsed the information before being offered

Was your conviction given as the reason for your termination?

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And, sorry for the multiple messages, what is the conviction for?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Ive been placed on adminstrative leave pending investigation. It was a burglery charge when I was 18. Since I have been comissioned in 2 states as an EMT and firefighter.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
a background check was completed at the time according to the person hiring me at the time

Unfortunately, Texas law does not provide any blanket prohibition on the termination of those found to have felony convictions. That said, if a background check was performed and you disclosed the conviction prior to or at the start of your employment, it would seem that the conviction is not the actual reason (even if that is what they are telling you) for this action. In other words, it would make little sense if they knew of it years ago to now want to take action. You can request the opportunity to speak with a human resources person at the employer or someone else in management to discuss this issue; and that may be a good idea. If you had not disclosed it when asked at the time of employment, then termination would be proper for dishonesty; but it sounds like you were completely upfront about it. So, then the next situation would be if they just learned of it; then they may also be able to terminate (though that may not be a good business decision it would likely be legal unless they took action to terminate people of a certain protected class for convictions and that led to different treatment based on race, gender and the like). Here, though it seems they knew 5 years ago and are just now deciding it is grounds to reconsider your employment. It is likely something else has happened and that this reason may not be the real reason action is being taken. Obviously, I cannot know that but as a lawyer with this history of your employment I would suspect that. Again, there is nothing legally to prevent your termination based on a felony conviction from years past; but if that is not the real reason I would want to know what might be and to evaluate if that real reason is not a legal reason for your termination.

If you need further help, please reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating.

Please note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

Attorney Wendy
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,424
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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