Finding a job can become challenging for people after getting criminal records. The difficulty declines as time progresses, but life right after prison or directly after getting a criminal record is much more unforgiving. Companies do not want to work with people who recently committed a crime. It is primarily to protect the staff, especially if the offense is violent.

Hence, companies run background checks on individuals before hiring candidates for the job. Other reasons to run checks include government restrictions on particular jobs for specific crimes. For instance, the court does not allow the ex-felon to work at a gun shop for weapons-related crimes.

Therefore, many companies consider it mandatory to run background checks on every individual. But, because the procedure is lengthy, tiresome to do, and expensive if they use third-party for the job, some companies do not run background checks right away.

The Three Scenarios of Criminal Records Check after Employment

1. The company performs the background check after hiring the candidates

2. The company is acquired by another venture that runs background checks on every candidate.

3. You recently got a criminal record

What Happens When Company Finds Out About The Criminal Record?

The answer to the question changes as per the state. Some states offer companies complete control over hiring and firing. In such places, they can fire you without any consequences. While they can’t find individuals for sex, race, religion, etc., criminals are not protected under the law.

Recent Criminal Record

For people with a recent criminal record, companies are unlikely to check again. It is a one-time task that they do at the time of hiring. So, unless people in the company know about the incident, you might not have to worry about the criminal check after all. Of course, if there is a rescreening, the records might show up. Also, some companies may choose to run a background check again.

Ran Background Check after Hiring

For companies that run background checks after employing candidates they can likely get away with firing you. With certain states offering companies complete control over who they choose to keep, repercussions are unlikely. But, it does well to check with the local authorities.

A New Company Acquisition

Rescreening is a process in which companies re-check all the data of people in the venture. In the case of acquisition, rescreening is possible. So, there is a chance that you got a job at the workplace without a proper background check. Later, a new company buys the business you work for. In such a case, rescreening can bring up charges.

Should You Mention the Criminal Records?

Here, the best advice to follow is, to be honest. A background check will show your records unless you have them expunged. Letting the employer know about the past ensures that they do not fire you for failing to disclose the information.

Also, if you have been working with the company for a long time, it will generally work in your favor. Mistakes way back in the past are likely not to cause a lot of harm in your employment.

Again, depending on the state of operations, it is likely that your company can fire you without an issue.

Giving the criminal record information upfront might mean no chance with an interviewer. So, it is best to bring up the record during the interview with the hirer. Delaying till you are on the seat means that they must give you a chance to talk.

But, during the application, do not lie. The resumes of ex-felons generally have a big blank hole without any history. It is a red flag that interviewers look for while screening the candidates.

Moreover, if the state does not have a ‘ban the box’ policy, do not lie. Instead, a simple tick with ‘will discuss in the interview’ might give you a chance you need for the job.


Lying during the interview or with the management is a guaranteed way of losing any job, especially during the interview. Hence, ex-felons must disclose all the information about the criminal record in detail but at the right time.

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