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Woman Fired, Even After Charges Against Her are Dropped

A woman in Wisconsin was fired from her job at a department store after being arrested, then released and having no charges filed.

The case began when 25-year-old Cierra Finkley was arrested for reckless homicide. Finkley was accused in the fatal stabbing of her estranged boyfriend. However, criminal charges were dropped when the man's history of domestic violence was brought to light and investigators reviewed both the case and the man's death.

Despite having no charges filed against her, Finkley was suspended from her position at Kohl's. This is allowed under Wisconsin law. But the law specifies that suspensions are intended for employees suspected of a crime that is substantially related to their job. In this case, the suspension is not related to Finkley's job, so she is suing the retailer, which has put her on indefinite suspension, for effectively firing her.

Keep in mind that no charges were filed in this case. Merely being suspected of a crime, or even being wrongly arrested, can impact your job and your ability to find work, since many states allow employers to ask about previous arrest or conviction history on the initial job application.

West Virginia passed Ban the Box legislation just this year, meaning that employers don't ask about conviction or arrest history in the first stage of the interview process. Instead, the questions about arrest and conviction history are delayed until later in the hiring process.

If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.

Our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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