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3 Job Restrictions for Felons and How to Overcome

July 25, 2022 | Career Blog

Finding a job can seem daunting if you’re re-entering the workforce after a felony conviction. You may also be wondering if there are job restrictions for felons that you need to be aware of before finding new work.

We’ll unpack some of those restrictions but also provide you with insights on how to find work that fits your expertise. Folks with a criminal record can often find excellent jobs that fit their skills and interests!

Job Restrictions For Felons Returning to the Workforce

If you have a criminal history, there are restrictions about what jobs you can take. Also, employers can be selective about whether to hire you. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Restricted Industries for Felons

Industries such as healthcare, real estate, banking, and insurance have restrictions at both the federal and state level. Convicted felons are also barred from jobs that require a license, such as teaching and some therapy jobs.

There are exceptions to this restriction on an industry-by-industry basis, but it is very challenging to overcome.

2. Companies Have Legal Rights

Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was designed to eliminate discrimination against potential employees, there have many legal disputes about whether employers can refuse to hire an individual based on their criminal history.

A company is generally thought to be within its legal rights not to hire a felon, especially if applying for a job in an industry related to the original crime. However, most companies will consider the nature of the crime before deciding whether or not to hire someone with a criminal past.

3. Background Check Could Disqualify You

Companies must abide by rules set in place by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This commission, more commonly referred to as the EEOC, protects the rights of employees, including convicted felons. However, employers have some wiggle room.

For example, after the initial interview, employers can inquire about your criminal history. When a background check is performed, employers must ask for your consent to open and read the report. You don’t need to give permission, but if you refuse, the employer may automatically disqualify you from the job.

Overall, employers must treat felons like any other prospective employee, meaning they cannot discriminate against you based on your race, gender, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age. The exact protections the EEOC offers you, however, and how they relate to your job search will depend on the laws in the state and city where you apply for work.

What Are Some Options for Overcoming These Restrictions?

Although some job restrictions exist for felons, there are also many opportunities to make a fresh start. If you are recently released from prison, you can often enter programs specifically for workers with a criminal past. These programs, often free or low-cost, can help you get training or certifications in particular areas. This, in turn, can help boost your appeal to potential employers.

A good deal of the time, it also helps to be upfront with your potential employer. Suppose you can explain your criminal record or show your interviewer that you’re responsible and have moved on from your mistake. In that case, companies are generally more than happy to offer you a position.

Many companies even actively seek out people with criminal pasts. Some companies work with non-profit organizations to create employment opportunities for convicted felons. These companies recognize that people with criminal records are often incredibly loyal, skilled, and hardworking.

Second chance hiring opportunities are also frequently offered by companies that were originally started by people with criminal pasts. These companies are eager to give other felons a leg up in the workforce.

Taking a temporary job through a staffing agency such as Allegiance Staffing can build up your resume and show other future employers that you’re dedicated and responsible.

Talk to Allegiance Staffing About Second Chance Jobs

If you’re looking to re-enter the workforce but aren’t sure where to start, consider applying for a temporary job through Allegiance. We are one of the leading staffing agencies in the U.S., and we proudly work with second-chance workers to help them find new jobs.
We’re also happy to answer any questions about overcoming job restrictions for felons that you might want to know more about. Contact Allegiance to find out more about available temporary jobs in your area to get re-started on your career path!