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Can I Lose My Job if I’m Arrested in New Jersey?

February 22, 2021

Can I Lose My Job if I’m Arrested in New Jersey?

After getting arrested in New Jersey, the first thing you’re going to think about is your loss of freedom. The second will be whether or not you will lose your job. While it’s understandable to assume that your employer will not hold your position if you are sent to prison for an extended period of time, many people wonder what will happen to their job as soon as they’re arrested. Even if you were innocent and your charges get dropped, is your job still in jeopardy? Continue reading to find out if you can lose your job if you’re arrested in New Jersey.

New Jersey is an “At-Will” Employment State

New Jersey is considered to be an “at-will” employment state. This means that an employer and an employee can terminate employment at any time and for any reason unless it is in direct violation of the employee’s rights. 

These protections are listed under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. While firing someone for being arrested is not protected under the EEOC, the commission recommends employers to consider the nature of the job and crime the employee comitted in an effort to avoid racial discrimination. 

Despite this, employers may be able to refuse to hire an applicant based on their arrest records unless they have been expunged. 

Do I Have to Tell My Employer if I Was Arrested?

While you should be honest with your employer, there are some industries where you will be required to alert them of your arrest. For example, if you’re a teacher in New Jersey who was arrested, you will have to follow their required protocol while your case is being handled. In most cases, your employer will require documentation from your defense attorney that you have hired legal representation to resolve the situation or that it was resolved entirely. 

Read more: Do NJ Teachers Have to Self-report Arrests to their School District?

Can You Get a Job in New Jersey if You Have Been Arrested? 

Yes, you can, however, there may be some additional hoops you have to jump through than normal. Under New Jersey’s Opportunity to Compete Act, the majority of employers are not allowed to ask you about your criminal record during your interview. However, there are exceptions. If the position is in law enforcement, homeland security or emergency management or if a criminal background check is required by law, then an employer can ask you about your arrest record before or during the interview process. 

Read more: Can I Go to Jail for Lying About My Criminal Background on a Job Application?

A Lawyer Can Help You Get an Expungement

If you lost your employment despite your arrest not resulting in a conviction, there’s hope. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-6, New Jersey residents who were arrested but not convicted of a crime can generally expunge their record immediately. 

Even if you weren’t convicted of a crime, finding a job when you’ve previously been arrested can be difficult. While it’s always recommended to be up front and honest with your potential employer about your criminal background, having the option to expunge your record entirely can help you in your job search moving forward. At the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, we can help you determine whether or not you’re eligible for an expungement and help you obtain one. Contact our law firm for a consultation today: 732-334-7468.

Contact an Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Criminal Charges in Woodbridge Today

Were you arrested and charged with a crime in New Jersey? A criminal conviction can result in costly fines, jail time and a driver’s license suspension. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. At the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, we have successfully represented clients who have been charged with X in Freehold, Woodbridge, Jackson, Old Bridge and throughout New Jersey. Call 732-334-7468 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 227 Main Street Woodbridge, NJ 07095 as well as offices located in Jersey City, Freehold, Princeton and Mt. Laurel. 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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