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How An Arrest Affects Your Career

Oct 29, 2017 | Blog, Legal Tips

There’s that saying that goes, “Guilty until proven innocent.” While getting arrested doesn’t mean you’re guilty, that doesn’t mean your workplace won’t treat you like you are.

Your Boss Can Fire You if You’ve Been Arrested

There’s law on the books to protect against discriminatory hiring and firing practices. That includes being fired for having a disability, for getting old, or for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The law, however, does not prevent your employer from discriminating against you for having been arrested.

Even if the charges were bogus and later get dropped, this lack of protection means companies can implement internal policies to fire those who get arrested (and they have). Not ever having missed a day of work or having been an exemplary employee often doesn’t matter to them. Other companies without any such official policy can simply fire you anyway if you are an at will employee. Or, even if they keep you on, you might be passed up for promotions or be the first to get laid off during downsizing.

So how would your employer find out if you’ve been arrested? One common way is missing work because you’re in jail. If you’re held in custody after an arrest, the court has:

  • up to 48 hours before they’re required to arraign you and set bail;
  • the authority to keep you in custody until you’ve been sentenced if you cannot post bail;
  • the ability to remand you back into custody if you violate the conditions of your release.

The above scenarios present situations where you’ll be in jail and not at work. And, it’s not like you can use the jail phone to “call in sick” because the jail notifies the person on the other end of the line that the call is from jail.

Other common ways employers find out is by:

  • seeing your arrest on the news;
  • seeing your arrest on COPS;
  • someone (hopefully not you) disclosing the circumstances of your arrest on social media;
  • a bail bondsman contacting your employer to verify your employment information to offer you a loan. This is why you need to work with a reputable bail bondsman.

Your Arrest Might Prevent You From Getting Hired

Nevada is getting better about protecting people’s privacy by limiting the type of information potential employers can access when conducting a background check. More recently, that includes restricting the use of consumer credit reports or information against potential or current employees.

Nevada employment laws also offer protections against disclosing your arrest record. There is one exception, however, which is for the state Gaming Board. It can gain access to both sealed financial and criminal records to determine whether you have any offenses related to gaming when trying to obtain a gaming license or registering as a gaming employee.

A Conviction Can Prevent You from Getting Hired

While a potential employer has no access to your arrest record, they can get access to your conviction record. The state also allows access conviction-related proceedings, like probation and parole.

Jobs that can automatically disqualify your application for having a criminal background include state and county jobs and long-term care facilities.

Even if you are not automatically precluded due to having prior criminal convictions, a potential employer’s knowledge of your prior conviction will greatly decrease the competitiveness of your application. That goes for the long-term care industry, as well as any industry or employer that will conduct a criminal background check.


  • Nevada law is clear that employers are not entitled to access to arrest records, with the exception of the Gaming Board.
  • You can, however, get fired, passed up for promotions, or be the first one to get laid off if your employer finds out you’ve been arrested.
  • One way to keep your arrest from being disclosed to employers is to work with a reputable bail bondsman.
  • You should also ensure everyone you know who cares about you doesn’t disclose your arrest on social media.

8-Ball Bail Bonds is available 24/7, including weekends and holidays to ensure you have access to bail. We are a fully licensed bail bondsman conveniently located in downtown Las Vegas and have the experience to process your release from jail. When it comes to an arrest creating trouble at work, time matters and we will work as quickly as possible to secure your bail.