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SuperGrover2112

Can I be fired for leaving the scene of an accident?

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Hi, I've worked for a large bank for 8-1/2 years as a computer programmer. I am contemplating applying for a more advanced position with more pay, but I know they might discover criminal convictions I received 13 months ago, and then fire me.  

 

20 Months ago I was in a car accident and had a severe head injury.  I don't remember the accident, but was arrested half mile away from the scene.  I don't know how I got there but assume I drove away from the accident.  After being released from jail, I went straight to the hospital and had a CT scan and diagnosed with a concussion and neck trauma.

 

I barely remember the arrest, but I was charged with leaving the scene of an accident (damages $6000 - felony, and no one injured, insurance paid), and as a bonus I was charged with 3rd degree misdemeanor assault on an officer because as they had me on the ground handcuffing me they said I swung my head back at the officers face. They said I smelled of alcohol but I don't drink, and they never charged me with a DUI or DWI. Instead, they said I refused a breath test, (and medical treatment), so I lost my license for a year. My lawyer fought that, but we lost.  Now I have the arrest records, the court public record of a felony, but on probation, a misdemeanor 3rd degree assault conviction, and court record that I lost the case against the state of Missouri for appealing the alcohol refusal license suspension.  I ended up doing a plea agreement, and plead guilty to the charges, and got probation on the felony with SES, and I had a lot of conditions, which I have already complied with, but I will be on probation another 18 months.

 

My performance at work has always been reliable, and my boss and his boss are  aware of the situation and what happened from my perspective.  I have worked the 7 years before the charges and a year since the conviction with no other legal issues or performance problems.  

 

Would I be likely to loose my job if HR ran a criminal check on me for applying for the promotion?  I am white, would Title VII protect me at all from being fired for my criminal background? My job does not require driving.  In fact, I work from home and rarely see anyone for work.  I don't know how HR would view the nature of the charges, and if they would have cause to fire me.

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

 

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Actually, am I protected from being fired over non related criminal convictions under Title VII of the Civil Rights act of 1964 IS a legal question.  Your 'answer' isn't helpful, and it is ok to say you don't know since you can't even realize the nature of the question.  Are you here just to 'troll' people?

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The Civil Rights act you refer to prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.  Nothing in the act prevents discrimination based on criminal history.

 

In almost all states you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all.  Consequently, the answer to your question is most likely yes, they can fire you for that.  Whether they will or not is a question only they can answer.

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Thank you AdjunctFL and cbg. I read guidelines from EEOC on this topic, and it seems the use of criminal background checks, in some cases, might be a way of discriminating against minorities, as some minorities have a disproportionate number of convictions based on what is thought to be rooted in an unfair justice system.  By saying that they might fire, or not hire people with a criinal record in those cases the employer may be liable for discriminatory practices, unless they can show that the employee or candidate is being ruled out on the basis that the nature of the infraction directly relates to the performance of the job.  I understand that Title VII is at it's heart about discrimination, but I was wondering about how it might be applied in practice. It wasn't clear to me from the EEOC guidelines if the cautions against using criminal history as a basis for employment was to be applied only to minorities, or if it applied in a more general sense, since if they can't discriminate against criminal history for a person in a protected class, then it becomes unfair if they do apply it only to non miniritues. (Some might call that reverse discrimination).

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8 hours ago, SuperGrover2112 said:

Would I be likely to loose my job if HR ran a criminal check on me for applying for the promotion?

 

Only your supervisor or someone in management with your employer could answer this question.

 

 

8 hours ago, SuperGrover2112 said:

Can I be fired for leaving the scene of an accident?

 

Yes.  However, given your statement that your "boss and his boss are aware of the situation" that happened nearly two years ago and haven't seen fit to fire you, I'm a little unsure why you're concerned about this.

 

 

8 hours ago, SuperGrover2112 said:

I am white, would Title VII protect me at all from being fired for my criminal background?

 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.  Everyone is protected by Title VII, regardless of race/ethnicity, etc.  However, Title VII has nothing to do with this situation.

 

 

1 hour ago, SuperGrover2112 said:

I read guidelines from EEOC on this topic, and it seems the use of criminal background checks, in some cases, might be a way of discriminating against minorities, as some minorities have a disproportionate number of convictions based on what is thought to be rooted in an unfair justice system.

 

If an employer is running criminal background checks only on a particular race/ethnicity, that would be illegal, but running criminal background checks in general does not implicate Title VII.

 

Some states have laws that limit an employer/prospective employer's ability to run certain background checks on employees/prospective employees.  You can run a google search to see if Missouri has any such law.

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The EEOC protects all races, not just minorities. It is just fact that minorities are more likely to be arrested and convicted, even when guilty of the same crimes as non-minorities. Some employers used "criminal history" as a way to weed out candidates which in turn had a negative impact on minorities. This does not mean that employers may never use criminal history in the hiring and promotion process, but if it results in a disparate impact on minorities, and is unrelated to the job, the EEOC is going to take issue with that. So it isn't that you aren't protected by EEO laws in general, but you aren't statistically negatively impacted by criminal background checks. Now if they only run checks on non-minorities, then you have a violation. It would be unusual to run a criminal background on an internal candidate for promotion unless it were somehow tied to the duties of the new job. Not knowing what the new job entails, we can't say if there is a good business case for it or not, or even if your employer would perform a background check. Even if they run a background check, there is no guarantee that what they find will disqualify you from consideration. If you are unsure of the process or selection criteria, talk to your supervisor.

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Hi @SuperGrover2112

 

Looks live you've gotten some good input from the community! While criminal background checks are common when applying for a position initially, your company may not run one due to a promotion/change in position. As other posters have suggested, you may need to ask your human resources department.

 

Best of luck!

The FindLaw.com Team

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