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Things That Employers Must Know When Hiring Felons

Does your company have a policy about hiring people who are convicted of a crime or also known as felons? Does your company automatically reject applicants just because they have criminal records? There are rules and regulations in law that guide employers when it comes to not hiring applicants with criminal records. But with the increasing number of cases where felons are rejected when applying for the job that they want, it is important that employers and both the applicants have the right knowledge about the rights of both parties. 

Yes, it may be true that hiring employees with a criminal record will give risks to their company. On the other hand, if the employer rejects the applicant on the basis of his or her criminal record, the company might be faced of discriminatory charges. In such cases, it seems that companies have no place to stand when hiring felons. While this might be a big issue in different companies, there are guidelines that employers must follow for the safety of both parties. As such, this article will go through some of the rules and regulations that employers need to know when hiring felons.

First and foremost, employers must be aware of the guidelines created by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This guideline suggests that excluding or rejecting applicants who have criminal records may constitute employment discrimination. According to the guideline, employers must not touch topics like conviction and criminal records on job applications. Employers should also have some limitations when it comes to inquiries about conviction or anything that is not related to the job or position that the applicant is applying for. Employers should also refrain from creating policies that automatically exclude people from employment based on the criminal status of applicants. Moreover, employers should not conduct any hiring practices that may result in adverse impact for protected group. The hiring process of the employers should only focus on the job related matters and concerns when hiring employees. Hence, other factors not related to the job or the position must not be included. Lastly, employers should give all their applicants equal opportunity to explain their criminal record. Generally, the criminal record of an applicant should not be included in the basis or criteria of selecting employees. Inclusion must be promoted and discrimination should always be prevented and avoided.

Furthermore, some studies suggest that hiring felons have actually myriad of benefits. Hence, employers must note that there are several benefits of responsibly hiring ex-convicts and felons. In some parts of the United States, the government offers tax breaks for companies who hire criminal offenders or felons through some of their programs like work opportunity tax credit program. This tax credit applies to companies who provide opportunities to a person who has criminal record to work again and have a fresh new start. As a result of this program, some offenders have been given employment opportunities by employers and have turned out to be valuable and committed employees. Some felons who lowe’s hires are very grateful for the opportunity they have been given. Aside form Lowe, there are some companies that hire felons not only for the sake of tax breaks but also as part of their corporate social responsibility.  

As an employer, when you are trying to decide how you want to mode your company’s policy towards convicted felons, it is necessary and crucial to consider the main purpose and true nature of your company. Gone are the days when the main focus of companies was to gain and earn more profit. Today, profit is just part of the entire measurement of how successful and responsible companies is. More than just increasing investments, companies should also try to promote the value of fairness and equal opportunity for people who come from different walks of life. So regardless whether employees have criminal records or not, the main consideration and basis must focus only on job related factors. With this, every individual, regardless of their past will be given equal opportunity. For felons, this will give them a chance to have a new beginning, create a new path in their life, build a career and develop themselves to the best that they can be.