Are some employers too judgemental when it comes to hiring convicted felons?

United States
April 23, 2007 2:13pm CST
I have a couple friends that are ex-felons. They were convicted of their felonies over ten years ago. They have paid for the crimes and are now totally rehabilitated. My reason for starting this discussion is because they are having a hard time finding a job because of the one felony they each have on their records! I think everyone devserves a second chance yet most employers do background checks now a days and if they find something like this even from ten years ago they refuse to hire a felon. What are other peoples views on this?
5 people like this
14 responses
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
23 Apr 07
I think employers are too harsh. Once a person pays his debt to society he should be free to pursue his dreams. I would hire an ex felon if he had the right qualifications. If he was a bad employee I'd fire him, but at least he deserves a chance. Some times people make mistakes.
• United States
24 May 07
I think some are too harsh also. Thanks!
@kkerix (403)
• United States
23 Apr 07
i have had my own business since 1990, prior to that i did the hiring and firing for my powerline right of way crew. I think everyone should be hired on merit, i personally never did do any background checks, the job was hard, if you tried hard and were honest, that is all we were looking, a job well done. I might suggest answering no to the felony conviction question, if they think they will not get the job anyway. If it has been as long as you say it may not even show up on the check. I would have to go with no on the convicted felon Question. I would give them a shot all we look for is in what you are today, we all have a past. we all, or most of us grow up sometime, lol. goodluck to your friends.
• United States
23 Apr 07
One of the friends I am talking about here did answer no and she got the job! Then 9 months later the company changed administarators. The new admin. did back ground checks on each and every employee and her and a couple others got fired by what the background check showed. They couldn't even collect unemployment because they lied on their application about the felon! An so she checked into having her felony removed from her record and it's a long costly process. But maybe she should see about borrowing money or something to start the process.
2 people like this
@smacksman (6076)
23 Apr 07
I always do checks before employing people and never hire ex-cons. Why should I risk my business with ex-cons who may or may not be rehabillitated? The stats show that 75% of ex-cons go back to jail. There are plenty of honest people out there wanting work. Your friends may be very nice people, I don't know, but you asked for views on this so I'm sorry if my view is not what you wanted.
3 people like this
• United States
23 Apr 07
Thanks smacksman!
1 person likes this
@naty1941 (2336)
• United States
23 Apr 07
It depends on the occupation and the type of felony. When I had my own business I hired a couple of ex-cons and it went very well. They were hardworking and never gave me any problems.
3 people like this
• United States
23 Apr 07
I am a probation and parole officer and I agree that it is sometimes difficult in order for a convicted felon to obtain employment. I do not believe it should be easy though either. Being in my profession I have come to see that the people who want to obtain employment, will. Even if the employment is not glamerous or well paying. Like I always tell my clients, it is easier to obtain a better paying job once you already have a job. I do not fault business owners who do not hire convicted felons either. The recividism rate is high, and it is a chance a lot of employers do not want to take.
3 people like this
• Canada
24 Apr 07
I think they do deserve 2nd chances. I guess the best job excons can get are doing construction business and landscaping because that way, Employers don't have anything much to lose. And mostly no items that might tempt them to steal or anything because it's mostly service oriented.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Apr 07
With out a doubt this is a terrible, sad, tragic truth! We continue to punish people over and over again for a crime for which the person paid dearly for! If we cannot give our fellow human beings a chance in life, what do we expect them to do? Go back to a life of crime?
@hcromer (2712)
• United States
24 Apr 07
My ex-boyfriend is a convicted felon and he got his current job thanks to me, despite his conviction. I think that if you've had a felony, that it is your problem and even if you have been rehabilitated that it's still a risk that a business shouldn't have to take. If you've made a mistake then you've made a mistake. Felonies are for big crimes and it'll follow you whether you are sorry or not.
2 people like this
• India
23 Apr 07
Well, the employers just want to be safe. Some felons don't change, they want to be cautious of those kind of people, that's all.
2 people like this
@webeishere (36377)
• United States
23 Apr 07
I myself have 2 felony convictions on my record. One was from 1970 and the other was from 1990. I too have a very difficult time finding a decent job due to the criminal record. Most places like fast food restaraunts and gas stations/convience stores hire most anyone. But the pay is no where near enough to help with bills etc. Some places are good enough to hire a felon. It's just hitting that place at the exact time is all. It seems to be a hit and miss situation as far as getting a decent job with a felony conviction. Thanks and I REFUSE to reveal the state of what the felonies were here also. Thanks for not asking. Take care & thanks for this discussion also. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
@Stiletto (4597)
24 Apr 07
I suppose it depends on what the person did and how long ago it happened. I have employed someone with a criminal record before - he had committed the offence when he was 18 years old and at the time I took him on he was almost 35, married with kids, etc. He had been refused lots of jobs because of his time in prison but he turned out to be an excellent employee. I think sometimes you have to accept that people make mistakes - particularly when they're younger - and this shouldn't necessarily condemn them to a lifetime of menial work.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Apr 07
Thanks stiletto!
@clary21 (58)
• United States
24 Apr 07
I know after a certain amount of time (I think it's 7 years in Texas) you can have your records sealed. You can go to a law library and get the paperwork to do the legal proceedings yourself for a fraction of the cost to hire an attorney. For an example, an attorney might charge you $500.00 whereas you can do it yourself for a $28.00 filing fee. My son will be getting out of prison soon, and I am going to put him in business for himself running a landscaping crew. Also, I know the state workforce commisssion has a list of employers that will hire ex-felons. In Texas, it is called Project Rio or Reo. Yes, it is hard to find a job, and that is one reason many return to prison because they can't find any other means to survive and they have to go back to the criminal aspect and hope they don't get caught. Like another writer said, it is a catch 22!
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Apr 07
thanks for this info I will pass it on to my friends!
@cutepenguin (6458)
• Canada
24 Apr 07
It is a tricky thing. There are a lot of people looking for jobs right now, and so employers have choice. If an employer has two candidates, and they would both be good employees, but one has a felony record and the other doesn't, they'll probably choose the one that doesn't. It's too bad for your friends. What kind of jobs are they looking for?
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Apr 07
I think it depends on what the felony was for. I know some people who have "criminal mischief" on their records and it comes down to a lot of b.s. Obviously, if they've stolen money, then they shouldn't be working somewhere with access to money. If they have done something violent, I think they can still pose a danger as well. I think there should be programs to work with them, but it has to be done carefully. There's not enough rehabilitation and helping people ease back into society once they are out of jail and that's a worry.
1 person likes this