Can Employer Use Sealed Juvenile Record?

Question: to Ask the Workplace Doctors about Juvenile Records

Can a sealed juvenile record be used in the work place once a person becomes an adult? My friend was supposed to be promoted to a management position but her Supervisor claimed there was a criminal charge on her record. The minor juvenile infraction was sealed and voided at adult age. My friend was taken out of management training and is being harassed by being given a reduction in work hours. Can something that was a minor infraction as a 16 year old be used against her when the record was supposed to be sealed?

Signed, Trying To Help


Dear Trying To Help:

We don’t provide legal advice because we’re not lawyers and might not give you the correct information. However, it sounds as though your friend needs to talk to HR about what records are in her file as well as about the reduction in work hours. If it appears something illegal or inappropriate has happened, she should talk to an attorney.A sealed record is just that; sealed. No court will give juvenile records, especially sealed ones; to an employer. It also doesn’t seem logical that if she was good enough to be considered for promotion they are now reducing her hours as punishment for having a criminal record.

I think there is a lot going on other than what you know or perhaps other than what your friend understands.She may want to ask a lawyer for assistance or talk to a trusted person who understands her situation more fully than we could understand it.Your friend certainly needs to speak up and question what is going on. One thing she could do is send an email to her supervisor asking about the sealed record and saying that it disturbs her to think it could be used against her. Then, if the supervisor responds by email there will be a record of her referring to it.This seems complicated and may involve many issues you don’t know about, but your friend does. Urge her to get all the facts together and decide if it’s worth getting legal assistance about it.Best wishes to you. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.