Hiring Job Applicants with Criminal Backgrounds: What You Need to Know
First, the employer must ask for your written permission before getting the report. You don't have to give your permission, but if you're applying for a job and you don't give your permission, the employer may reject your application. If an employer gets a background report on you without your permission, contact the FTC see below. Second, if the employer thinks it might not hire or retain you because of something in the report, it must give you a copy of the report and a "notice of rights" that tells you how to contact the company that made the report.
Do Job Applicants Have to Consent to Background Checks? | ohezawipat.cf
This is because background reports sometimes say things about people that aren't accurate, and could even cost them jobs. If you see a mistake in your background report, ask the background reporting company to fix it, and to send a copy of the corrected report to the employer. You also should tell the employer about the mistake.
You can get your credit report and fix any mistakes before an employer sees it. To get your free credit report, visit www.
You don't have to buy anything, or pay to fix mistakes. If there is something negative in your background, be prepared to explain it and why it shouldn't affect your ability to do the job. Also, if the problem was caused by a medical condition, you can ask for a chance to show that you still can do the job.
Sometimes it's legal for an employer not to hire you or to fire you because of information in your background, and sometimes it is illegal.
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An example of when it is illegal is when the employer has different background requirements depending on your race, national origin, color, sex, religion, disability, genetic information including family medical history , or older age 40 or older. For example, it would be illegal to reject applicants of one ethnicity with criminal records for a job, but not reject other applicants with the same criminal records.
This is true whether or not the information was in a background report. Even if the employer treated you the same as everyone else, using background information still can be illegal discrimination.
For example, employers shouldn't use a policy or practice that excludes people with certain criminal records if the policy or practice significantly disadvantages individuals of a particular race, national origin, or another protected characteristic, and doesn't accurately predict who will be a responsible, reliable, or safe employee. In legal terms, the policy or practice has a "disparate impact" and is not "job related and consistent with business necessity.
If you think an employer discriminated against you based on background information, contact the EEOC for further information see below. If you think that a background check was discriminatory, you may contact the EEOC by visiting its website at www. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex including pregnancy , national origin, age 40 or older , disability, or genetic information.
The EEOC investigates, conciliates, and mediates charges of employment discrimination, and also files lawsuits in the public interest. For specific information on-. If an employer got your background report without asking your permission, or rejected you without sending you the required notices, contact the FTC at www. Ample research has shown that access to gainful employment is among the most important factors for reintegrating former offenders back into society. The recidivism rate for those employed in the first year following their release is Several states have implemented prison-based education and job training programs to reduce barriers to employment after release.
Getting Hired With an Arrest or Conviction Record
These programs are important because prisoners often have less educational attainment than the general population. About 41 percent of the U. Despite efforts to prepare prisoners for the job market, occupational licensing requirements in many states make it nearly impossible for former offenders to find work in many licensed occupations. For example, all 50 states require barbers, truck drivers, and pesticide applicators to hold state-issued licenses.
These licensing policies can reduce employment opportunities for former prisoners through blanket prohibitions on the licensure of former offenders or through excessive requirements placed upon them, including minimum educational attainment, training and fees. Several studies have linked occupational licensing policies to higher rates of recidivism across states. I recently co-authored a policy brief published by the James Madison Institute which found that states requiring higher training and fees had significantly higher recidivism rates.
The good news is, according to the Institute for Justice, 27 states have reformed their occupational licensing policies since to make it easier for former criminal offenders to find work. A tightening labor market and an increasing willingness among employers to hire former offenders are promising developments that could go a long way toward reducing recidivism rates.
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