According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Coch Institute, most employers understand a criminal background. This means that criminal convictions are not necessarily a deal breaker when you are looking for a new job.
However, more than 60% of companies complete criminal background checks for their prospective employees. In addition, many ask about your criminal history in the application.
Should you tell?
If you are in an interview and the interviewer asks you about your criminal history, the law requires that you share this information. You need to disclose any felony convictions. However, you should not discuss arrests that did not result in convictions.
Because most employers now conduct criminal background checks, they will find out about your criminal history. It is always better to tell the truth so they do not think you are dishonest about other things on your application.
What are employers’ responsibilities?
Employers cannot legally discriminate against all convicted felons. They can consider the type of crime and its seriousness and how long ago the conviction occurred. They should also compare the conviction to the type of job they are filling. Then, these employers should conduct a risk analysis and check the laws that prevent hiring convicted felons for specific jobs.
What constitutes discrimination?
Discrimination occurs if employers outright refuse to hire any convicted felon. In addition, a company should not reject all, most or more applicants that fall within specific races, sexes or national origins. Also, hiring individuals with similar convictions and qualifications of one race over another is discriminatory.
If you received a felony conviction, explain what occurred, what you learned and how you changed. Keep the interview positive.