Is there a law against working with the mentally challenged if you have an assault on your record?

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Is there a law against working with the mentally challenged if you have an assault on your record?

Have an assault on record from 16 years ago. Got a job working at a group home for the mentally challenged 5 years ago, they didn’t ask about my record and when the background check was done it didn’t come up. Now it has come up and they’re suspending me for 3 days while they figure out why it didn’t show up on the background check

Asked on January 23, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I do not believe there is any specific law against it; however, that does not mean that your employer cannot still suspend, re-assign, or even terminate you for this reason if it chose. Assuming you do not have an employment contract (the vast majority of people do not), you are what is known as an "employee at will." An employee at will may be suspended, re-assigned, or terminated at any time, for any reason. Given that you are working with a particularly vulnerable population, your employer may consider that a record of assault is sufficient reason to take action.


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