ScottyMacEsq : Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.
ScottyMacEsq : I'm sorry to her about your friend's situation. It's true that criminal status is not covered by discrimination laws. Furthermore, NJ is an "at will" employment state. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...). An employer can even fire for its own negligence (that it did not conduct a reasonable background investigation). ScottyMacEsq : The only way that he could claim any rights would be if the employer had written employment policies that would protect him.
ScottyMacEsq : That is, if there was something in writing saying that he would only be terminated for cause (and assuming that he did not lie about his status or convictions on his application, etc...) then he could claim certain rights.
ScottyMacEsq : But assuming that there are no such rights (or any union rights, etc...) then the at will employment doctrine will apply and control in this situation.
ScottyMacEsq : I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it is the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, and good luck to you!
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