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How to Get a Job With a Criminal Record

How to Get a Job With a Criminal Record

It only takes a moment to commit a felony, but the mark on your record will last much longer. Many felons assume that they'll be turned down for every job they apply for, yet plenty of people with criminal records go on to succeed in their chosen career path despite their history. Knowing your rights and where to look for jobs will help whether you're recently released from prison or still planning for your future.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act

First, understand that about one in four people have a criminal record. You're far from alone. The Fair Credit Reporting Act may not sound like it's related to criminal records, but it is. It requires the companies that run background checks to verify the information they're sharing. Arrests are only supposed to be revealed if they occurred in the last seven years, as long as you're applying for a position paying less than $75,000. It also mandates that you receive a copy of the report so you can verify if the information on it is correct or not. If you discover errors, you can have the information corrected with the agency provided the report.

All About Title VII

Title VII is a form of protection against employment discrimination, and it includes discrimination based on a criminal record. Employers are allowed to avoid hiring people with certain types of arrests or convictions, but it is often considered a Title VII violation to hold a blanket policy of not hiring anyone with a record. However, you must prove that the blanket policy unfairly targets people of color because they are more likely than white candidates to have a criminal record. It's best to work with an employment rights organization if you suspect a Title VII violation than making accusations on your own.

Employers are allowed to avoid hiring people with certain types of arrests or convictions, but it is often considered a Title VII violation to hold a blanket policy of not hiring anyone with a record.

Employers and Your Criminal Record

Employers do have a right to check your criminal record, and 75 percent of companies that responded to a 2010 survey claimed that they checked the background of every applicant. However, don't assume that your past will hold you back indefinitely. While there will always be employers that don't want to hire those with criminal records, other surveys reveal that over half of hiring managers contacted had hired at least one person with a known criminal history. The severity of the crime, the time that has passed since your arrest or conviction, and your efforts to change your life since then have a big effect on the opinion of a hiring manager.

Finding Specialized Help

Don't forget to tap into the networks that already exist to help those with criminal histories find employment. There are many companies that offer programs to specifically help felons find gainful employment, while other organizations are run by reformed criminals themselves to act as networking opportunities. 

If you find yourself arrested again at any point, call us here at Free At Last Bail Bonds for immediate assistance with bail.

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