Judge rules Amazon, Whole Foods can be sued for refusing to hire convicted murderer
A judge ruled Wednesday that Amazon and Whole Foods can be sued for refusing to hire a convicted murderer who served 23 years in prison, Reuters reports.
U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan approved Henry Franklin’s request to pursue a class action lawsuit.
Franklin was rejected for a grocery delivery job by Cornucopia Logistics, a company that works with Amazon and Whole Foods. The rejection and subsequent lawsuit occurred in New York.
Employers are prohibited in New York from rejecting applicants because of their criminal records unless the crimes committed relate directly to the jobs sought or hiring would pose an “unreasonable” public risk.
Franklin reportedly answered “no” to a question asking if he had a criminal record when he applied for the job in April 2019. Amazon and Whole Foods argued that Franklin’s provision of inaccurate information provided a sufficient rationale for rejecting his application.
Caproni said that Franklin “has adequately alleged that he is rehabilitated and no longer poses a threat to the public,” although she said she was also “sympathetic to defendants’ likely position that they do not want a convicted murderer delivering groceries to their customers’ homes,” according to Reuters.
Franklin was convicted of second-degree murder in 1995 and paroled in 2018, the outlet reported.