We know it is very difficult to secure jobs for ex-felons. In fact, convicted felons looking for jobs have to face lots of challenges. There are some state and federal laws that may not permit them to serve in certain industries. Besides, these laws may restrict them from getting a license to work in other industries. So, it is truly important for them to know their rights of employment in 2022. This will not only help them find jobs but also determine whether an employer is using biased hiring practices. So, let’s learn about the employment rights of ex-felons in 2022.
The Stance of Federal Government
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has the supreme power to examine any unfair activity against laws for felony employment. In fact, EEOC claims something very clear under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. It is totally unlawful for employers to routinely or habitually refuse jobs for ex-felons. However, the employer has the right to reject an individual if the offered job role matches the crime’s nature. This means if the individual is convicted due to bank robbery, he can’t be employed in the banking sector. Or, if he was found guilty of child abuse, he can’t be served as a teacher. But in case he applies for a job as a paralegal, this guideline will not be applicable. So, it is important for ex-felons to apply for a job that does not match their crime’s nature.
The Stance of State Government
State laws for felony employment are more complex and vary from state to state. Every state has set its own guidelines for employers offering second chance jobs for felons. However, one thing is common. Employers can run a background test on any applicant. In fact, it is protected under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. As per a recent survey, 92% of employers run a background test during the hiring process. And this is incredible.
But an employer has to follow the guidelines of his own state during the test. Some states don’t allow employers to make any hiring decision based on arrest records without conviction. Other states permit them to use arrest records with or without conviction.
Besides, there are some other factors. Some states allow them to only consider the records within a specific time period. For example, in California, laws limit them to check only the records of the past seven years. However, employers have to consider the seriousness of the crime. Besides, they should ensure it has no relation to the job.
Prohibited Jobs for Ex-felons
Apart from all the above factors, there are some jobs that do not allow a felon to be hired. Some common sectors that deny offering jobs for felons include healthcare, banking, and insurance. However, you can find many exceptions. We have seen many felons have obtained a job in those fields through a pardon. At the state level, governors grant pardons. And at the federal level, the president grants pardons. No doubt, the process of granting a pardon is quite lengthy and difficult. But it can help them to secure jobs for ex-felons.
So, it’s essential for every ex-felon to read their respective state and federal laws before applying for jobs for ex-felons. This will surely help them to know the limits of using criminal records during the hiring. Besides, they should also consider the factor of “prohibited jobs.”