If you have a misdemeanor or felony on your record, it could have a significant impact on your employment options. Today, there is no Federal law prohibiting discrimination based on a person’s criminal history. As such, employers are well within their rights to reject applicants with prior convictions.
There is, however, a catch. If an employer rejects an applicant due to a criminal record, the conviction must be related to the job. For example, you likely wouldn’t be hired as a financial advisor if you have a felony for writing bad checks. The conviction mustindicate liability related to the job. Otherwise, the rejection would be considered discrimination.
If you have a prior criminal history, it can make your job search difficult. It doesn’t, however, have to ruin your chances of finding gainful employment. Here’s what you need to know about protecting your rights and moving on after a felony or misdemeanor:
A Conviction Can Ruin Your Reputation: What You Need to Know
If you’re currently facing court charges, a conviction can easilyruin your reputation at work. Although it’s unwise to talk about a pending case with co-workers, you will need to inform your supervisors, especially if you have to take time off for court dates. If the court convicts you, you may be at risk of losing your job. No matter what the outcome may be, it’s in your best interest to be honest about the proceedings.
1. Some Employers are Barred From Hiring Employees With a Criminal Background
While most employers can choose to hire someone with a criminal record, some employers don’t have a choice. In these cases, applicants with certain convictions must be rejected from an open position.
2. A Felony Conviction Could Ban You From Your Profession for Life
Once you’re a convicted felon, some employees are barred from hiring you, even if they wanted to. For example, a truck driver convicted of a felony DUI charge with a suspended, revoked, or restricted license is not qualified to obtain a CDL, no matter how much experience they have.
Similarly, a bank teller convicted of embezzlement will find it difficult, if not impossible, to get hired by any financial institution. These restrictions are put in place to protect customers and organizations alike, and to reduce the liability of companies.
3. If Your Case is Pending, Make Sure You’re Adequately Represented in Court
The law is too complex to navigate on your own, and protecting your rights requires the help of a skilled attorney. Without an attorney, for example, you won’t know what motions to file or when. Certain motions not filed within a specific period won’t be considered.
Still tempted to represent yourself? Keep in mind that many attempts at self-representation in criminal court result in unnecessary convictions – convictions that wouldn’t have happened if the defendant had hired a lawyer.
4. You Could be Limited in Your Job Options
If you’re convicted of domestic violence or assault and have a restraining order as a result, your employment options will be limited by the restraining order terms. You may even need to quit your current job if staying there would violate the restraining order.
Applying for Jobs After a Conviction
Applying for jobs after you’ve been convicted of a crime can be intimidating. What will your prospective employer think? How will they react? Will they give you time to explain your circumstances? Is there any chance you’ll get the job? You won’t know until you walk into the interview. While it’s true that you don’t have to inform your would-be employer or a pending conviction, honesty is generally the best policy.
Conviction Makes Employment Difficult but not Impossible
A criminal record of any kind makes finding employment difficult, but it’s essential to acknowledge that difficulty and be prepared for rejection. Having a record doesn’t mean you’ll never find employment, but it does mean you’ll need to work a bit harder to find the right job.
To protect your rights and keep your life moving forward, hire a skilled attorney to guide you through the process. Ward & Barnes is here to educate you about your rights and help you find a job you love.