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Hiring people with criminal records is finding the right individual for a position that can be difficult at times. If a prospective employee has a criminal background, you may have doubts about hiring them. Here we take a look at how employers should take care about hiring people with criminal records.

People with criminal records can help you enhance productivity and revenue no matter what business you are in. They learn new skills and improve their quality of life at the same time. When you hire an ex-convict, it is a win-win situation for both them and your organization.

How Ban-the-Box Work for Hiring People With Criminal Records?

Applicants must tick a box on most employment forms to indicate any felony or misdemeanor convictions. However, “ban-the-box” legislation has been passed in 35 states and 150 localities. Some states have a “fair chance” law, which prohibits employers from asking about criminal convictions on a job application.

Individual state laws differ. So check the laws of your state or other governing authority before requesting someone to fill out an application.

Aim of Ban-the-Box Legislation

What are the aims of these laws? The state has a stake in encouraging hiring people with a criminal record. Because having a job lowers the likelihood of recidivism. If you want to reduce crime, you need people to work instead of their old habits.

The third motivation for ban-the-box legislation is to eliminate discrimination against African-American men. However, data suggests that this is not working as well. This is due to businesses are less willing to interview Black and Hispanic candidates as they cannot ask about criminal records.

When is it appropriate to inquire about a person’s criminal history?

Before hiring an employee in any state, you have the right to inquire about felony convictions. You cannot ask about a person’s criminal background until you are ready to make an offer, thanks to the ban-the-box legislation. When you are ready to make an offer, you can do a background check on the person, which will include questions about any prior convictions.

Know More About Hiring People With Criminal Records

Hiring people with a criminal record is not easy, as it seems. Some convictions ban you from working in specific occupations. For instance, you cannot hire a person convicted of sexual abuse for baby daycare. The decision is not easy.

Rejecting persons based on their criminal records may violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When it comes to how to hire convicted, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says there are two crucial points to consider:

  • Title VII prevents employers from discriminating against people with similar criminal records. This depends on sex, religion, race, etc.
  • Title VII bans employers from using policies that discriminate against people based on their criminal records.

You can assume that your candidate committed the crime for which they convict if they have a conviction. You can use an arrest as a starting point for an inquiry whether or should a person should be disqualified or not.

How do you determine whether to hire a candidate with a Criminal Past?

That is going to depend on state law. However, there are some general guidelines

Treat people differently

If you reject an applicant based on certain characteristics, including color, sex, and religion, you violate the law.

When was the conviction done?

If the conviction is of six months ago, the employer can reject the applicant. However, if the conviction was occurred 20 years ago and not repeated, then it fair to hire that ex-convict.

What is the relation between job and conviction?

You can reject a person who stole money from a former employer as your company’s comptroller. In addition, not for a job that includes money.

Hiring People with Criminal Records – Consult your Attorney

You can contact your employment law counsel if you are thinking of hiring people with a criminal record. Because state and even local rules differ so widely, you cannot make broad assumptions about what is best for your company. You must confirm that you have followed the law to the letter and that you are not in any way breaching Title VII.

Please note: For detail legal advice, please consult with an attorney. In addition, the information in this article may not reflect your state law.

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