A simple Guide to Employer Background Screening - Part 1

Every year, thousands of convicted felons are released from prison and are expected to go back to living a normal life. It can be very difficult for former felons to look for a job because of their previous history.


One of the most challenging parts of the job-hunting process is to pass mandatory background screenings done by potential employers. One of the most common questions asked by felons is if there’s any chance for them to pass criminal background checks.


What Does a Background Check Entail?


Criminal background checks are mandatory by law in the health care, finance, and insurance industries. These days, however, almost all businesses and organizations order background checks for all potential employees.


Background checks are usually outsourced to professional third parties that are well equipped to look into a person’s private information. A standard background check involves:


Full name and basic demographic information

Addresses and all contact information in the last ten years


Marriages and divorces

Tax liens or bankruptcies

Warrants, arrests, and court records

Infractions or violations

Misdemeanor criminal convictions

Felony criminal convictions


A felony conviction will always be on your record. Any law enforcement agency, bank, employer, or third-party background checker will be able to access this information at any time.


How Far Back Do Background Checks Go?


Some very lenient states put a limit on how far back employers can search potential employees’ criminal records. California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, and Washington restrict reporting on records older than seven years after the end of parole or release from prison.


If you were subject to a felony arrest, but the court found you not guilty, your case will not be reported in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York.


In Oklahoma, all employers must abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which governs how third-party credit bureaus can collect and share information about potential employees.


All employers based in Oklahoma are also subject to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulation that was passed in 2012. The regulation states that all employers are required to individually review every prospective employee that may be disqualified due to a criminal record. This also follows the regulations set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


Fortunately, many employers and HR managers in Oklahoma have become more lenient when it comes to hiring former felons. You will find career opportunities, especially in many blue-collar industries. You will be able to get a job and build a successful career even if you have a felony conviction on your record.




Almost all employers subject potential employees to background checks during the screening and interviewing process. All felony convictions remain on your criminal record indefinitely, so all organizations will be able to access that information. The good news is that nowadays, employers are much more open-minded, and they do not limit opportunities for convicted felons.


This is only part one of two in our blog series discussing criminal background checks and how you can deal with them as a former felon. Stay tuned and check our website for more information included in part two.


FallenValor has a list of jobs that hire felons in Oklahoma City. We work with over 3,500 employers in the state of Oklahoma to give hope to those who want a better life. We are dedicated to ensuring all ex-felons have free access to our business directory. Find your new job today!

 Next Article: 

Fallen Valor - A Simple Guide to Employer Background Screening – Part 2