Hiring a Convicted Felon - Is it best for my Business

Hiring the right person is important in the growth of your company, so you have to be extra careful when choosing applicants. For instance, during recruitment, you may have received a job application from someone you think is a good fit for your team. However, the only problem is they are an ex-convict. You may now be faced with the dilemma of leaving this candidate out or giving them a chance to join your team. To help you determine whether hiring a convicted felon is the right decision, use this article as your guide.


Can I Reject an Applicant Because of a Criminal History?


Rejecting job applicants based on their criminal history is acceptable in some instances. For example, if you run a school or daycare, you should and can reject convicted child abusers. However, in some cases, doing this may cause you to violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964's Title VII.


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that employers are prohibited from treating convicted job candidates differently based on their race, national origin, sex, color, and religion. It also forbids companies from using practices or policies that screen applicants based on criminal history information if they disadvantage Title VII-protected individuals. In an attempt to comply with the regulation, legislation known as ban-the-box is put in place.


What Is Ban-the-Box?


Ban-the-box laws aim to remove the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record during an initial job application. Employers can only ask when they get to the job offer phase of the selection process.


Since individual state laws vary, you can see that some require job applicants to check off whether or not they have any felony or misdemeanor convictions. Meanwhile, some have “fair chance” legislation that prohibits employers from asking the applications about convictions on their job applications.


What Is the Purpose of Ban-the-Box Laws?


Ex-felon jobs are limited, which can hinder individuals from re-entering society and pursuing a fulfilling career. Ban-the-box laws were created to get people with a criminal history working and reduce the chance of recidivism, which can help lower crime rates.


These also aim to stop discrimination against Black men. Unfortunately, employers were found to be less likely to interview groups of young, low-skilled Black men because they were seen as more likely to include ex-offenders. Instead, they concentrate on hiring those they believe are less likely to have gone to prison. As a result, the laws help actual convicts, but they negatively affect low-skilled Black men with no criminal history.


How Do I Determine Whether to Hire an Ex-Convict?


Not every ex-convict is an irresponsible and unreliable worker. To determine whether hiring a convicted person is the best option for your company, you should equally treat everyone regardless of their race and gender. You also have to consider how long it has been since their conviction and how it can correlate to the job. Most importantly, give your candidate the chance to explain during the interview.




Hiring a convicted felon is probably not the best idea for many business owners, leaving out candidates with a criminal record. However, as an employer, giving everyone a fair opportunity and a second chance at life may be the right thing to do. In fact, these convicted applicants may turn out to be some of your best employees. Remember the information and grow your business’s workforce.


If you are finding jobs for convicted felons, then you’ve come to the right place. At FallenValor, we provide free access to an up-to-date business directory of employers willing to hire ex-felons. Explore available ex-felon job opportunities today!

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