Criminal Justice Information Center- Employment and Your Criminal History
Employment Issues and a Criminal Record

Getting or Keeping Your Job with a Criminal Record
If you have a record, getting a job is almost next to impossible. And in this economy, the task is even harder. And if you are currently employed, keeping your job once your criminal record is discovered may be difficult. In Michigan there are no laws that require an employer to employ prospective employees if the have committed a misdemeanor or felony. While certain classes of people are protected, such as people over fifty, disabled, because of race, religion, or gender, those with criminal histories do not have this protection.

If You are a Black American, You May have Options
Under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Federal Courts have extended employment protection to African Americans with criminal records. While it probably won’t help you get a job because any prospective employer won’t admit to not hiring you because of your record, this protection could keep you on a job you already have. The Court’s rationale for this protection relates to the disproportionate number of African Americans involved in the Criminal Justice System. Any employment policy where a person with a record is terminated then has a disparate impact on the black community. In order to rectify this disparate impact, firing a black worker merely because they have a criminal record is prohibited.

Expungement or Setting Aside a Conviction
You may be able to expunge your criminal record or set aside your conviction if you meet certain requirements. This includes either a misdemeanor or felony. You can only have committed one crime and that crime cannot be punishable by life, is a major drug crime, involves criminal sexual conduct, or is a conviction for drunk driving. Five years must have passed since you were convicted or released from prison if you were incarcerated.

Michigan is an “at will” Employee State
Finally, Michigan is an “at will” employee state. That means if you do not have an employment contract or covered by a union that deals with employment issues within the union, whether you have a criminal record or not, you may be fired for almost any cause other than if you are in a protected class and can prove that the employer fired you for reasons related to the protected class. And in an historic Supreme Court Decision just announced in June 2009, the burden is on the employee to prove this discrimination. The best advice in these hard times is to make sure you don’t give your employer a reason to fire you. Work hard, keep your mouth shut, and stay out of other peoples affairs.

The Law Office of James G. Schmier, PLLC is a Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving DUI and Family Law and Divorce law firm and provides legal representation in Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County and throughout Michigan including these Michigan cities:

Macomb County

Armada
Centerline
Chesterfield Twp.
Clinton
Eastpointe
Fraser
Harrison
Lenox
Macomb
Memphis
Mt. Clemens
New Baltimore
New Haven
Richmond
Romeo
Roseville
St. Clair Shores
Sterling Heights
Shelby
Utica
Warren
Washington

St. Clair County

Port Huron
Capac
Saint Clair
Algonac
Keewahdin
Marine City
Emmett
Yale

Washtenaw County

Ann Arbor
Ypsilanti
Chelsea
Saline
Manchester
Milan
Dexter

Ingham County

Lansing
East Lansing
Williamston
Webberville
Stockbridge
Meridian Township
Danville

Oakland County

Auburn Hills
Addison Twp.
Berkley
Beverly Hills
Bingham Farms
Birmingham
Bloomfield
Bloomfield Hills
Brandon Twp.
Clarkston
Clawson
Commerce
Farmington
Farmington Hills
Ferndale
Franklin
Groveland
Hazel Park
Highland
Holly
Huntington Woods
Independence
Keego Harbor
Lake Angelus
Lake Orion
Lathrup Village
Lyon Twp.
Madison Heights
Milford
Novi
Novi Township
Oak Park
Oakland Township
Orchard Lake
Orion
Ortonville
Oxford
Pleasant Ridge
Pontiac
Rochester
Rochester Hills
Royal Oak
Southfield
South Lyon
Springfield
Sylvan Lake
Troy
Walled Lake
Waterford
West Bloomfield
White Lake
Wixom
Wolverine Lake

Wayne County

Allen Park
Belleville
Brownstown
Canton
Dearborn
Dearborn Heights
Detroit
Ecorse
Flat Rock
Garden City
Gibraltar
Grosse Isle
Grosse Pointe
Grosse Pointe Farms
Grosse Pointe Park
Grosse Pointe Woods
Hamtramck
Highland Park
Huron
Inkster
Lincoln Park
Livonia
Melvindale
Northville
Plymouth
Redford
River Rouge
Riverview
Rockwood
Romulus
Southgate
Sumpter
Taylor
Trenton
Van Buren
Wayne
Westland
Woodhaven
Wyandotte

Call for a No Cost Initial Consultation
The Law Office of James G. Schmier, PLLC
Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving DUI Defense and Family Law Divorce Attorney
(248) 705 3742