We know attending a job interview as a felon is really difficult. Employers who offer jobs for ex-felons can ask many uncomfortable questions that are difficult to answer. Furthermore, they will run background checks to validate the information the individual provided. At the same time, there are some strict state and federal laws regarding felony employment. Besides, some states ban a felon from serving in some particular domains, known as prohibited professions. This article will outline every detail of those laws and prohibited professions.
The state laws for felony employment vary from state to state. However, every state allows employers offering jobs for ex-felons to run background checks under the FCRA act. But every state has its own guidelines about the process. Some states need job applicants to report only arrest records even if they did not result in a sentence. Other states only permit the employer to check the arrest records that only resulted in a sentence. Arrests without any conviction are excluded from this list. At the same time, there are some states that permit running a background check for a certain period of time. However, one thing is sure. These laws aim to remove the bias in the hiring process of second chance jobs for felons. We should not treat them unfairly due to their past record. They really deserve a second chance to start their career in a new way.
EEOC enforces all the federal laws regarding felony employment. Just like the state laws, these laws aim to remove bias in the process of felony hiring. No doubt, EEOC can charge any employer who routinely denies providing jobs to felons. In fact, this right is protected under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, if the nature of the crime is related to the job role, they can’t charge the employer. This means if you were found guilty of bank robbery, you cannot serve in the banking sector. Similarly, if you have a criminal record of child abuse, you cannot be a school teacher. Nonetheless, this guideline is not applicable in case the individual is applying for a paralegal job.
Apart from these laws, some states set specific guidelines for employers who offer jobs for ex-felons. Some states allow them to only consider the criminal records of any individual for a certain time period. So, the individual doesn’t need to discuss anything that occurred before that time period. Instead, he should discuss the felony record if the court sentenced him within the time period. Besides, if the individual is a misdemeanor, there is no need to disclose it at the time of interviewing. However, every state allows employers to consider the seriousness of the crime and whether it relates to the offered role.
There is no doubt that convicted felons cannot serve in several sectors. This is applicable on both the state and federal levels. These include insurance, healthcare, banking, and many more. However, the only way to secure a job in those sectors is to have a pardon. Usually, state governors grant the pardon at the state level. And for the federal level, the president grants the pardon to any convicted felon. No doubt, the process of obtaining a pardon is long as well as complex. But it will definitely help felons to secure jobs for ex-felons.
So, there are no state and federal laws that clearly ban an employer from running a background test. However, there are some limits to deciding how much a criminal record may be regarded. Always make sure to use the understanding of the above laws at the time of finding jobs for ex-felons.