Innocent until proven guilty – also referred to as presumption of innocence – is one of the basic tenets of criminal law. However, the unfortunate reality is that if you are arrested for a crime or even simply face legal accusations, many people may tend to assume that you are guilty. Not only does it affect your reputation, but can also make it harder for you to find employment opportunities.
Your existing job as well as your future career prospects may be at risk just because of legal accusations or an arrest. However, you should know that an arrest is not a conviction, and you have rights. If you have faced an arrest or have pending charges on your record, it is important to consult a Texas employment attorney. Your attorney can help ensure you are not unfairly denied of employment opportunities. He can do that on the basis of legal accusations or a crime you did not commit.
What Texas Law Says about Background Checks for Criminal Records
Texas law grants employers the right to run background checks on applicants. However, there are a couple of restrictions on what kind of checks they can run and how they can use it to screen applicants.
· If the job in question pays less than $75,000, the employer can only look at your criminal history for the past seven years – not beyond that.
· On the other hand, if the job pays more than $75,000 or if you apply for a job at a government agency, insurance company, or any job that requires you to make residential deliveries, the employer can look at your entire criminal history – right from the age of 18.
Moreover, as any employment attorney can tell you, the employer cannot deny you a job merely based on your arrest record alone. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that using arrest records to deny employment to someone is unfair. That is because there is no telling whether that person might be convicted or not.
Also, denying employment based on arrest records can also be a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In fact, racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to get arrested and charged with crimes compared to others.
How an Austin Employment Attorney Can Help You
If you have arrests and pending charges on your record and have been unfairly denied of a job by a prospective employer, it’s crucial to talk to an Austin employment attorney. The attorney can review your record and determine whether the employer violated federal or state law in turning you down. And, he can also take appropriate legal action to protect your rights.
Experienced and Reliable Employment Attorneys in Austin, Texas
At Hines & Holub, we know how hard it can be for someone with a criminal record to get a job. That can be the case even if they have turned their life around. Our attorneys are fully committed to defending the rights of those who deserve a second chance.
If you have been unfairly discriminated against by a prospective employer due to your arrest record, our employment attorneys can help you. We can review your situation and do everything in our capacity to protect your rights. To talk to one of our reliable and accomplished Austin employment attorneys, call us today at 512-883-5386. Or, contact us online and schedule a free consultation.