If you have a criminal record and are in the process of a post-conviction job search, you may have questions about what you must reveal and what you may not have to reveal in a job application or during an interview, what might constitute illegal discrimination, and whether or not your record may be sealed or expunged. If so, it is important that you reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney in the DC region. A lawyer can assist you with matters related to criminal records and make sure that your new start goes more smoothly.
You undoubtedly worry about securing and retaining employment. You may fear that your criminal record will make finding a job prohibitive, particularly in today’s economy. It is important to realize that the law prohibits discriminatory hiring practices. In other words, employers may not automatically reject a certain pool of candidates from hire. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission cautions employers against using “blanket policies”—those which automatically reject all persons who fall into a specific category–in regards to criminal records.
The EEOC instead encourages employers to review each criminal background in a case-by-case manner to determine if the applicant fits the specific job, and that the requirements for employment fit the duties of the job. If an employer wishes to reject an applicant due to part of a criminal record, they must justify their decision in a manner that is within accordance to laws against discrimination.
It is in the public interest to reintegrate back into society those with criminal records and/or histories. Social and economic public policy is served by ensuring that those convicted of a crime are given the opportunity to become productive members of the community. In face, those who remain unemployed post-conviction have higher recidivism rates. Nevertheless, many employers make it difficult for those with a criminal history to secure a position.
The number of companies, big and small, looking into the background of a potential hire has increased a great deal over the past ten years. Some of this is simply a sign of the times as employers continue to be more cautious than they were in the past. Other employers are actively seeking to protect themselves from liability lawsuits should they hire someone who, unbeknownst to them, has a criminal record and such person later harms the company, other employees, or a customer. Human resource departments, in coordination with background check services, may look for information relative to not only violent crimes, but to white collar crimes as well.
It is important to understand that your future employer must play by certain rules when seeking information on potential employees. Not all criminal history must be revealed, some may be wiped from your record, and other history might not be reported.
This article was contirbuted by Phil Balbo. Having a criminal record can be alarming to some employers. Finding a criminal lawyer for a consultation may be your best option.