A Simple Guide to Employer Background Screening - Part 2

Life as a former felon can be extremely difficult. Depending on your situation, when you’re let out of prison, it may be challenging to find housing, buy groceries, and find employment to fund all other expenses.


If you’re a convicted felon, all is not lost. There are still many career opportunities available for you. You will just have to find an open-minded employer that will hire you based on your qualifications and not what they see on your background check.


This article is part two of a pair of articles about how you can deal with criminal background checks as a former felon. Make sure to check out part one and all the essential information included there.


In the previous post, you read about the basics of what a criminal background check will unearth. Read on for state-specific information that may help you make future employment decisions.


A Permanent Criminal Record


As previously discussed, all convicted felonies will always show up on a criminal background check done by any law enforcement agency, prospective employer, bank, or third-party credit bureau. Unless your records are expunged, there is no hiding this information from anyone who comes looking.


A criminal background check will report all misdemeanors, infractions, violations, felonies, sex crimes, and even reportable non-convictions. All your drug tests and incarcerations are included in these reports as well.


In most states, even pending charges will show up on your background check. Nowadays, most employers run extensive background checks covering any charges that occurred across counties within a state.


Fortunately, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) passed a regulation in 2012 that states that all employers are required to individually review every prospective employee that may be disqualified due to a criminal record.


This means that while employers will have access to your entire criminal record, you will be given the opportunity to explain your past and show that you have become a better person. If you qualify for the job you are applying for, many lenient and open-minded employers will take you on no matter what any credit bureau can dig up about your past.


Felonies Committed in a Different State


You may be thinking that you can outrun your criminal past by crossing state lines. Unfortunately, all employers and credit bureaus in the United States have access to complete criminal records of other states. Here are some ways they can do it:


Your current address – The first background run will center on your current state and where your employer is located.


Former addresses – If they see that you lived in other states previously, they will run individual criminal, tax, and bank account checks for each of those states.


Federal records – Employers also run federal criminal record checks that disclose crimes committed on federal property.


Other records – And finally, employers run checks on statewide and nationwide sex offender registries as well as Homeland Security records to ensure that they don’t hire anyone on these lists.


Ban the Box Campaign


Also known as the Fair Chance Act, this initiative aims to remove the check box that asks applicants if they have a criminal record. This way, former felons will be able to list out all their job qualifications before a background check is done.


This initiative began in 2009 and has been implemented in 30 states, including Oklahoma.  




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 part two in our blog series discussing criminal background checks and how you can deal with them as a former felon. Check our website for more information included in part one.


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!

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