NYC Workplace Discrimination

What if My Employer Finds Out About My Sealed Records?

May 07, 2024

author bio pic of Lily  Filippatos

Written by Lily Filippatos

Brought to you by Filippatos Empoyment Law, Litigation & ADR

One common concern that employees with sealed criminal records have is whether their employers will be able to access this information. While sealed records are meant to be inaccessible to the public, there are instances where an employer may still come across this information. In order to protect your rights as an employee, it is important to understand the legal implications of this situation.

Understanding Sealed Records and Expunged Records

Sealed records refer to criminal records that are hidden from the general public. This means that if an employer conducts a standard background check, they will not be able to see any information about past arrests or convictions that have been sealed. On the other hand, expunged records refer to criminal records that have been erased from the legal system altogether. This means that even law enforcement agencies and court officials do not have access to this information.

However, in some cases, sealed records may still be accessible to certain entities, such as law enforcement agencies or government agencies. If an employer conducts a thorough background check or has connections to these entities, they may be able to uncover sealed records. In this situation, it is crucial to seek legal advice from an employees’ rights lawyer to determine the best course of action.

Potential Legal Issues

If an employer discovers sealed records and takes adverse action against an employee based on this information, it may constitute discrimination or harassment. Employers are not legally allowed to discriminate against employees based on their past criminal history, especially if these records have been sealed or expunged. If an employer uses sealed records as a basis for firing, demoting, or harassing an employee, they may be liable for a lawsuit.

It is important to note that not all criminal charges are eligible for sealing or expungement. For example, felonies and certain violent crimes may not be sealed or expunged, and employers may have access to this information through a criminal background check. In this case, it is crucial to seek legal advice from an employees’ rights lawyer to understand the potential consequences of having these charges on your record.

What to Do If Your Employer Finds Out

If your employer discovers sealed records or any other information about your criminal history, it is important to handle the situation carefully. First, do not panic or confront your employer immediately. Instead, seek legal advice from an employees’ rights lawyer to determine the best course of action.

You may choose to disclose this information to your employer in a strategic manner. For example, you can explain the circumstances of your past criminal charges and emphasize that you have taken steps to rehabilitate yourself. It is important to provide any documentation or evidence that supports your rehabilitation efforts, such as completion of a rehabilitation program or positive character references.

If your employer takes adverse action against you based on your sealed records, you can file a discrimination or harassment complaint with the appropriate government agency. Additionally, you may consider hiring an employees’ rights lawyer to pursue legal action against your employer for wrongful termination or discrimination.

Overall, it is important to understand your rights as an employee with sealed records and to seek legal advice if your employer discovers this information. By taking proactive steps and seeking legal guidance, you can protect your rights and ensure fair treatment in the workplace.

Call Us

We at Filippatos are here to protect your inherent rights in the workplace. If you are experiencing discrimination at work due to your sealed records, please give us a call at 888-9-JOBLAW for a free consultation. We will do our utmost to help secure you the justice you deserve.