Convicted Felons Have No Place In The Workplace

Human Resources | Hiring Managers | Recruiters | Sourcers

These people can be awfully judgey at times. Looking at all the expert resume and interview tips, most of them are just long lists of “Thou Shalt Nots” - or you will be banished to job hell.  “Don’t do this, don’t wear that, say this, use that”… so on and so on. Job seekers are asked to jump through hoops just to get a chance at an interview or maybe a job. Message to job seekers: “We want perfection.” But no one is perfect and we all deserve a chance.

Are you lucky?  Have you ever done anything the least bit wrong or wreckless but you didn’t get caught? Have you ever broken a law? Smoked a little weed? Or gotten a speeding ticket? Most of us are lucky that we have gotten away with something stupid by simply not getting caught or someone giving us a break. What if you weren’t so lucky? Should you be afforded a 2nd chance? What if you a made a stupid mistake many years ago, and you paid your fines, fees, and restitution but still that mistake keeps you from even getting an interview? An interview for a job that you are more than capable of doing?

What if you had no prior instances before this stupid mistake and no other instances since this stupid mistake for 15 years? What if you never actually committed a crime at all but someone you were dating did committed the crime on your property while you were at work? Does that matter? Or, like most employers, once you check that box asking if you have ever been convicted of a felon, it’s over for you and your application?

I have given you a lot of detail; convicted of a felony over 15 years ago for a crime that was committed on your property by your partner while you were at work. You had a clean record before it happened and ever since. I know what you are thinking, get it expunged! However, in your state there is no expungement for felony convictions, only misdemeanors. Here’s the question to you, if this were you, do you check “yes” or “no” on the box which asks about felony convictions? If you say yes, I can tell you that you will not be getting an interview because 95% of employers would say, “Convicted felons have no place in the workplace.”

That’s the message, that’s the message that we send when we make blanketed judgements based on felony convictions. President Obama tried to “ban the box” because he knew that millions of job seekers were/are being alienated and disqualified based on petty crimes, old crimes, or just unproven accusations that were never substantiated yet the person who was accused was charged because they could not afford adequate legal representation.

So unless a convicted felon starts their own business or has a friend with the ability to make the final hiring decision then the message to convicted felons is…(see above title)