2 Regulations That Help Ex-Convicts Find Jobs Easier
It is understandable that living a life as an ex-convict is no easy experience. Although doing time may have reformed you well enough to ensure that you come out a better person, the reality is that life doesn’t get any easier once people find out about your criminal background. From family members who may spend more time avoiding you to troubles with flying abroad and starting a new life, the list of difficulties that those with criminal records experience is ever-growing.
By the time you’ve been released from prison and begin to slowly rebuild your life, the first thing on your mind that will prove to be more important as you set yourself straight is getting a job. Unfortunately, most prospective employers are quite aversive towards the idea of hiring ex-criminals to the point where they opt to tirelessly administer criminal background checks.
The wide-scale impact of extensive criminal background checks
Although running criminal background checks is an established practice in American workplaces, the fact is that it has significantly hampered job opportunities for millions of people.
Today, about one in four adults in the United States (about 65 million adults, according to The National Employment Law Project) have criminal records and experience continuous difficulties in finding a job. Unfortunately, this same “safety” measure influences the constant persistence of criminal activity in America today because ex-convicts that are unable to find jobs have been forced to commit crimes as a means to get by.
Why do employers check criminal records?
Generally, the main reason conducting criminal background checks is a must for employers today lies in traditional protection because doing so helps with:
- Promoting workplace safety
- Protecting company property
- Protecting vulnerable populations from abuse and predatory behavior
- Avoiding liability for harm to customers and other third parties
Out of the interest of achieving the effects mentioned above, companies have become more conscious of their efforts that they’ve become wary of hiring criminals. In some states, employers follow a “no-ex-convict” hiring policy because select state governments permit lawsuits against employers that hire employees with a tendency to engage in dangerous behavior!
The Flaws of Criminal Background Checks (and Laws You Can Use to Circumvent Them)
Because of current practices in workplaces, former criminals looking to start on a clean slate and make something of themselves end up being withheld because of these recurring mistakes:
- Reports that are mismatched (containing information about a different person)
- Reports that include expunged or sealed records
- Incomplete reports (those that don’t include data about the ultimate disposition of the matter, such as that charges were dropped or the person was exonerated)
- Reports that provide information in a misleading way (by listing one offense multiple times)
- Reports that misclassify the offense committed.
Fortunately, current legislation concerning the hiring of ex-convicts provides a few solutions in the form of two federal laws that provide protections for affected applicants:
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The FCRA requires consumer reporting agencies to follow specific guidelines when running background checks and providing employers with consumer reports. In the context of criminal records, this act requires agencies to not include arrest records that are more than seven years old (unless the position pays more than $75,000 a year).
The Ban-The-Box Laws
Implemented in several states and cities, Ban-The-Box laws act as protection for job applicants with a criminal background by prohibiting employers from asking about one’s criminal history until later in the application process. Through this piece of legislation, it becomes much easier for a candidate to get through an application with more leeway to demonstrate their competency for a job before their record gets in the way!
While criminal background checks can make the process of finding a job as an ex-felon rather challenging, it’s important to know that there are several legal regulations and tools that can ease up the process. Through the help of the FCRA and Ban-The-Box laws, you won’t need to worry about experiencing a delay in starting a much better life on a clean slate!
Finding jobs for ex-convicts no longer needs to be as difficult as it was in the past. In fact, we've put together a list of ex-felon job opportunities and felon-friendly jobs in Oklahoma that you can use to get your life on the right track. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!