Find us on Google+ Jobs for Felons: How felons can get jobs
  • Home
  • About Me
  • Ask Me A Question
Showing posts with label Felon Friendly Employers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Felon Friendly Employers. Show all posts

Thursday, December 6, 2018

How Female Felons can get Jobs

How Female Felons can get Jobs
Hello Mr. Mayo,

Thank you for reading my email.


I am a 24 year old girl and have a charge of simple assault.  I got into a fight with another girl who pulled a knife on me.  I had no choice but to protect myself but I got a charge anyway.   I have gotten interviews, but when I get to the part about explaining my charge, everything changes and I don't get hired.

I read your blog all the time.  How can people with charges find jobs if no one will give them a chance.  If they can't find jobs then they sell drugs and do other things to get money.  I want to get a job and put this nightmare behind me in the worst way.  Any advice you can give me will be appreciated.

Thank you.

Lori


How Female Felons can get Jobs



Hello Lori,

More and more I am seeing women with felony convictions who are have a hard time finding jobs.  First let me say that ex-offenders and felons get hired everyday all across the country.  You have two challenges.  Firstly, to make yourself as marketable as possible and secondly to find employers who will offer you an opportunity.

First you will need a well written resume.  A resume will quickly help an employer get an understanding of your skills and qualifications.  There are many resources online that can help you get an understanding of how to put a resume together.  If you have never done this before, get help from someone who has written one before.

On most application you will find the question, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?"  This part is critical.  I encourage everyone I work with to never lie on an application.  In this computer age, lying about criminal records doesn't work so always be honest.   When answering this question, list the name of the conviction, the county you were convicted in, the month and year, and the final outcome.  It might look something like:

Simple Assault (isolated incident), Cook County, IL, 2016 ,  Probation/Fine Paid

When it's time to talk about it, briefly state what happened and how sorry you you are that it happened and how hard you are working to move past it.

Next you will have to practice your interviewing skills.  Find someone who will pose and an interviewer so you can practice answering questions and work on your verbal and non-verbal communication skills.  Practice until you can easily answer questions while sounding sincere.

You will also need professional interview clothes.  The best clothes for an interview is a nice pants or skirt suit with coordinated blouse and shoes.  If you wanted to be looked at as a professional, you must look like a professional.

Finally, check out this list of companies that have hired felons in the past:  Companies that Hire Felons

Bear in mind that these companies will not hire you just because you are a felon, but you may get the opportunity if you are qualified.  Best of luck to you.


 Companies that hire felons


Jobs for Ex-offenders and Felons: Where can Ex-offenders Find Jobs

Jobs for Ex-offenders and Felons: Ten Steps to Getting a Job with a Criminal Record



Companies Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Felons | Jobs For Felons | Jobs For Ex-offenders | Jobs That Hire Felons | Resumes for Felons | Felon Friendly Jobs | Felon Friendly Employers | Jobs for Felons | Jobs For People That Have Felonies | Jobs For People With A Criminal Record | Female Felons


How Female Felons can get Jobs



Eric Mayo

Read More

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Why companies are turning to ex-cons to fill slots for workers

  • More American companies, such as McDonald's and Delta Air Lines, are hiring ex-cons as part of their inclusion strategy.
  • Executives say 82 percent of their ex-offender hires have been at least as successful as their average hire, according to a report by the Society of Human Resources Management.
  • Only 14 percent of human resources managers won't consider hiring ex-offenders.

Why companies are turning to ex-cons to fill slots for workers
Ty Hookway had to check on an office building his building services company, CleanCraft, was set to clean in upstate New York, and what he saw changed his business and his life. The maintenance person who was supposed to do the work had called in sick, and when Hookway got there, he found one of his newer hires, Sanford Coley, in the building, working away in shorts rather than his uniform.

But what really got Hookway's attention: The shorts revealed that Coley was wearing an ankle bracelet. He was on parole for bank robbery. Hookway hadn't thought to ask about Coley's criminal record.

"I was thinking I should fire him," Hookway said. "Now he's one of my best friends."

More stories like this may be coming to offices like yours. With the job market tight, ex-felons and other workers who often struggled to find jobs are getting a second look, according to a recent report by the Society for Human Resource Management, which surveyed more than 2,000 corporate managers and HR executives nationwide on their attitudes about ex-offenders for a report released in May.

Unemployment among ex-felons isn't explicitly tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it was estimated at 27 percent last year by the Prison Policy Initiative. But some researchers think it's even higher — informal estimates claim as many as half of released convicts failed to find jobs or stayed out of the labor force. Since an estimated one-third of U.S. adults have at least an arrest record, according to the human resources society, it's a lot of people.

"This isn't a problem of aspirations, it's a structural problem involving discrimination and a lack of opportunities available to people who have been to prison," said Lucius Couloute, a policy analyst at the Prison Policy Initiative. "It really takes employers who are willing to let go of their biases in pursuit not only of equality but of the best candidates."

Corporations are showing at least some signs of interest, advocates say. In addition to SHRM's study, the job site Glassdoor barred job listings from employers who intend to weed out ex-offenders. New Jersey-based consultant Eric Mayo says a long list of top American companies have proved themselves open to hiring ex-offenders, mostly for service jobs, ranging from minimum-wage employers from McDonald's to CNBC parent Comcast and, in Mayo's Atlantic City backyard, casinos, which he said are practically cities unto themselves, demanding an array of service workers.

Corporations are showing at least some signs of interest, advocates say. In addition to SHRM's study, the job site Glassdoor barred job listings from employers who intend to weed out ex-offenders. New Jersey-based consultant Eric Mayo says a long list of top American companies have proved themselves open to hiring ex-offenders, mostly for service jobs, ranging from minimum-wage employers from McDonald's to CNBC parent Comcast and, in Mayo's Atlantic City backyard, casinos, which he said are practically cities unto themselves, demanding an array of service workers.

"It really takes employers who are willing to let go of their biases in pursuit not only of equality but of the best candidates."-Lucius Couloute, policy analyst at the Prison Policy Initiative

"I encourage people to apply for every job they feel qualified for," Mayo said. "Even without a felony record, looking for a job is a numbers game.''

To stoke more action, the federal government is offering a tax incentive called the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for employers who hire and retain ex-felons, veterans and individuals from other target groups with significant barriers to employment. Under this program if an employee works at least 120 hours a year, a company can claim a 25 percent tax credit of their first year's wages and 40 percent if he or she works 400 hours.

Some cities and states also offer tax credits and other incentives to employers willing to hire ex-cons and give them a second chance. Philadelphia's Fair Chance Hiring Initiative provides a cash reimbursement to employers who hire felons that have been released from prison within the past five years.

Many employers are apprehensive about hiring felons and look for ways to hedge their risk. They partner with local organizations that work to train ex-cons for jobs and provide other types of rehabilitation services. To find these organizations, state unemployment or workforce development offices can offer referrals.

The Federal Bonding Program is another option companies turn to. This program bonds felons who are hired and mainstreamed by companies of all sizes. The bond provides compensation if an employer suffers theft or loss due to the employee's dishonesty.

Eliminating bias in the workplace

If there is a ground zero for the push to destigmatize a criminal history in the workplace, it is Greyston, a 100-person Yonkers, New York, bakery that makes mostly brownies for a client list that includes Unilever's Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream unit, Amazon's Whole Foods grocery chain and Delta Air Lines. "We consider them the crown jewel of our values-led sourcing program," said Unilever spokesman Sean Greenwood, pointing out that Greyston, while founded by a Buddhist monk with a mission to do good, has balanced its social mission with being a reliable, businesslike supplier for decades.

Greyston's "open hiring" model means that anyone who puts their name on a list for a production job can have one as they become available, CEO Mike Brady said. The trick is, they have to make it through an apprenticeship program designed to test (and build) their basic work aptitudes, such as staying on schedule and working well with others. About half don't make it, Brady said. But enough do to convince Greyston that other companies would be better off investing less in screening out workers and more in training and supporting them to capitalize on second chances and on connecting them to social services they need to support a transition to working life.

More from At Work:



"We'll hire anyone who walks through the front door — no questions asked," said Brady, who estimates that about 40 Greyston workers have criminal records. "We do everything we can to make them successful. But if they're not, we let a lot of people go.''

Two such candidates are one-time drug dealers Dion Drew and Alvin Wilson. Drew, 41, grew up in Yonkers and said he plied his old trade a three-minute walk from Greyston. Wilson, 64, spent nearly a decade after his release as a self-employed contractor, doing everything from carpentry to snow shoveling before coming to work there.

Drew has become an ambassador for open hiring, even doing a Ted Talk with Brady about it. He got out of prison in 2008 after his third conviction, got rejected everywhere he applied, and landed a $7.15-an-hour gig as a Greyston apprentice in 2009. He's now a $25-an-hour supervisor with an eight-year-old daughter and two stepchildren. He claims he has the two dogs and now "just needs the house."

Why companies are turning to ex-cons to fill slots for workers
Greyston CEO Mike Brady with employee Dion Drew, a former drug dealer  


Wilson is a mixer on the brownie line, where the quickly moving array of goodies waiting to be wrapped recall the famous scene from I Love Lucy where the heroines land short-lived jobs in a candy factory (the bakery makes about a tractor-trailer load of brownies daily, or 7 million pounds per year). He was released in 2008, from the last of his five felony cases, and arrived at Greyston two years ago.

Both said their big problem in getting back to work was learning how to take direction and fit in, as people do in the workplace. And each said the biggest difference between themselves and others who fail at reentering society is that they simply decided, while in jail, that they had to do better.

"If you can't make your mind up in 12-and-a-half years what you want to do in life, it's never going to happen," Wilson said.

"I set my goals and plans while I was upstate," Drew added. "I wanted to save money the right way, to have a family. I wanted to put the smile back on my mom's face.''

Greyston now is trying to package its approach to lure in other companies. Just a short drive from its factory, Greyston set up the Center for Open Hiring, which Perry Solomon, a consultant working on the project, described as a way of training companies to "think the right way" — swapping expenses spent finding workers who don't have red flags for more investment in training.

"Where I see the ROI is in tremendous loyalty, productivity and culture," Brady said.

Changing attitudes

A study on employers' attitudes toward hiring ex-felons suggests that many are ready for change. Only 14 percent of human-resources managers won't consider hiring ex-offenders, the report commissioned by the Society of Human Resources Management and funded by the Charles Koch Instituted says. The biggest reason is simple: 82 percent of executives say their ex-offender hires have been at least as successful as their average hire. Other common motivations were to help build communities and give ex-offenders a second chance.

Why companies are turning to ex-cons to fill slots for workers
Greyston's president and CEO Mike Brady in front of the company's Center for Open Hiring


But only 5 percent actively recruit ex-offenders, the survey said. The most important factors in getting hired: A verifiable work history, and some level of education or training after the workers were convicted, indicating that they improved themselves while imprisoned.

That's consistent with a study by the RAND Institute, which found that 59 percent of employers would consider an ex-offender with one conviction if they were given an incentive through a tax credit, which they are offered under federal law. But the biggest difference-maker is if employers can recover staffing-agency fees they pay to find workers who don't stick with the job, or get the agencies to find them a replacement worker for free if they take a chance on an ex-offender who doesn't work out.

Rand found that employers are much less willing to look at felons with a history of violence, such as robbery charges, Rand scholar Priscilla Hunt said.

"What they responded to was staffing-agency fees," Hunt said. "Even more than if you increased the [tax credit] money."

What doesn't appear to work as well is trying to force employers' hands by forbidding them to ask about criminal records on job applications. So-called "ban the box" laws, named for the check-box next to questions about whether applicants have records, often lead to racial discrimination, as employers screen out a broad swath of minority applicants in order to avoid interviewing ex-offenders, according to research by Rutgers University economist Amanda Agan.

Screening out ex-offenders can also subject employers to liability for policies that have a disproportionate racial impact, said Dariely Rodriguez, director of the economic justice project at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

"Employers have an obligation not to discriminate," Rodriguez said. "They have an obligation to root out bias."

Mostly, employers can help ex-offenders while also helping themselves, Hookway said.

"You have to develop the culture where everyone is on board," Hookway said, comparing ex-offenders with work-friendly attitudes to people who have succeeded in addiction treatment. "Once they get on the right side, they become advocates. They'll hold other employees accountable. They want it more."




Why companies are turning to ex-cons to fill slots for workers


companies hire felons | companies that hire felons | Companies that hire ex-offenders | Employers that hire ex-offenders | employers that hire felons | Jobs for felons | jobs for ex-offenders | jobs that hire felons | places that hire felons | felon friendly jobs | felon friendly employers | how to get a job with criminal record | second chance jobs for felons | temp agencies that hire felons | high paying jobs for felons

Eric Mayo

Read More

Friday, July 6, 2018

How legislation can help ex-prisoners find employment



How legislation can help ex-prisoners find employment

The upsurge in the ex-prisoner population, along with employment and economic output losses, overwhelmingly reflects changes that have taken place in the U.S. criminal justice system over the years, not changes in underlying criminal activity. 

Legislation like the Clean Slate bill keeps ex-prisoners out of the correctional system, minimizing costly recidivism rates and enhancing public safety

By Dr. Michael Pittaro, Faculty Member, Criminal Justice at American Military University

In 2008, I published an article, “Prisoner Reintegration Challenges of Assimilation and Crime Desistance,” that focused on the challenges ex-prisoners face after release. Unfortunately, what I stated in 2008 still holds true today. Confronted with uncertainty, animosity, and a multitude of personal, social and legal barriers, most prisoners reenter society with the lifelong stigma of being an ex-prisoner and cannot fully assimilate into society.
The process of “going straight,” which criminologists refer to as desistance from crime, is multifaceted, yet attainable. While it’s possible, it is often very difficult for ex-prisoners to obtain and maintain employment.  More needs to be done to help ex-offenders find work especially since gainful employment is critical for successful reintegration, reducing recidivism rates, and cultivating public safety.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO HELP OFFENDERS FIND EMPLOYMENT
The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that nearly 95 percent of all state prisoners will be released back into the community at some point, whether it is tomorrow or 40 years from today. This suggests that only a mere 5 percent of all state prisoners are serving death sentences or life without the possibility of parole, and an even smaller percentage will die in prison while serving out their respective sentences.
However, ex-offenders are likely to have a very difficult time finding employment. A 2010 Center for Economic and Policy Research report noted that a prison record greatly reduces an ex-prisoner’s prospect of garnering employment. Even at the relatively low productivity rates of ex-prisoners (they typically have less formal education than the average worker), the resulting loss of economic output in the United States is estimated to be between $57 and $65 billion.
The upsurge in the ex-prisoner population, along with employment and economic output losses, overwhelmingly reflects changes that have taken place in the U.S. criminal justice system over the years, not changes in underlying criminal activity. The dramatic increases in sentencing time, especially for drug-related offenses, partly accounts for the spike in the ex-prisoner population. Therefore, changes in both employment and sentencing laws can have a positive impact on the U.S. economy while simultaneously reducing overall recidivism rates and improving public safety. These changes are of significant importance for African Americans. The NAACP reports that African Americans comprise 14 percent of the U.S. population, but disproportionately represent 40 percent of the nation’s prison population.

LEGISLATION INITIATIVES TO AID EX-OFFENDERS

One promising legislative initiative that is gaining in popularity is referred to as the "Clean Slate" bill. The intent of the legislation is to seal the criminal records of low-level, non-violent ex-offenders who go 10 consecutive years without another criminal conviction. The legislation will also seal the records of arrests that did not result in convictions.
The Clean Slate bill has received widespread bipartisan support. In early June 2018, it passed the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously after receiving House approval with only two "no" votes. On June 28, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed it into law. In addition to increasing employment prospects, the law will also improve and increase housing and educational opportunities for ex-offenders.
Another initiative gaining momentum with the blessing of bipartisan support is known as “ban the box” or “fair chance policy.” This particular initiative affords applicants a fair chance at employment by removing the conviction history question from job applications and delaying background checks until later in the hiring process.
A 2018 National Employment Law Project publication reported that, as of June 2018, 31 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 150 cities and counties have adopted “ban the box” policies in which employers consider a job candidate’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a conviction or an arrest record.
The report also noted that delaying records-related inquiries until after a conditional offer of employment ensures a fairer decision-making process. It requires employers to consider the job-relatedness of a conviction, time passed, and mitigating circumstances or rehabilitation evidence. Granted, in some cases, it might just simply delay the inevitable in the form of a rejection letter, but remember that this policy is primarily intended to assist low-level, non-violent ex-offenders (namely drug offenders) in obtaining employment, a key protective factor in combating recidivism.
Other promising initiatives include the Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program, which allows a company to claim a tax credit of up to $2,400 for hiring an employee with a felony conviction within one year of the date of his or her conviction or release from incarceration. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor offers a free bonding program for “at-risk” job applicants, including people with criminal records, indemnifying employees for loss of money or property due to an employee’s dishonesty or theft.
Such laws are beneficial for ex-offenders and the community. Not only do they help ex-offenders obtain gainful employment to help them successfully reintegrate into society, these measures also provide ex-offenders with a renewed sense of purpose and identity that many lack after their release. By keeping them out of the correctional system, these laws also help minimize costly recidivism rates and contribute to enhanced public safety.

companies that hire felons


Jobs for Felons: The Facts about Companies that Hire Ex offenders and Felons (2018)



companies hire felons | companies that hire felons | Companies that hire ex-offenders | Employers that hire ex-offenders | employers that hire felons | Jobs for felons | jobs for ex-offenders | jobs that hire felons | places that hire felons | felon friendly jobs | felon friendly employers | how to get a job with criminal record | second chance jobs for felons | temp agencies that hire felons | high paying jobs for felons

Eric Mayo

Read More

Monday, May 21, 2018

Oregon company makes a point of hiring ex-convicts

 Oregon company makes a point of hiring ex-convicts
About one in three of the more than 300 employees at Oregon-based Dave's Killer Bread has a criminal background.  - 
By 
A major effort is under way in this country to reform the way we sentence drug criminals. Thousands of felons are getting early release according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission,  and that will continue for years to come.
The question is, will there be jobs for them?
If you visit the bakery at Dave's Killer Bread outside Portland, you'll find pumps sucking two-thousand pounds of ingredients into mixing bowls.  You'll also find that a third of the company's 300 employees have a criminal past, including plant manager Ronnie Elrod. 
“We're just so happy to have a job that typically we've got an attitude of gratitude rather than a sense of entitlement.  And we also know that opportunities are going to be hard to come by for us so we have to take those opportunities that come along and we really have to make good on them,” Elrod said.
And Harvard sociologist Devah Pager believes that's true.  She is studying the job performance of ex-cons in the military. “Those with serious criminal pasts perform just as well if not better than their counterparts with no criminal records.  At least with appropriate kinds of screening, individuals with serious criminal records can perform very well in the workplace,” she said.
Another of Pager's studies  shows that a criminal record seriously reduces the chances of getting a job. “I hired groups of young men to pose as job applicants and sent them all over the city applying for jobs and half the time they reported having a felony conviction and simply by checking that box, their chances of  receiving a call-back or job offer were cut in half,” Pager said.
Dave's Killer Bread has hired so many ex-convicts because, well because of Dave...Dave Dahl, that is. After serving 15 years for drug crimes, Dahl returned to his family's bakery and in 2005 created his namesake bread. “It was based on the epiphany I had in prison which was that I could turn my own life around and eventually the feeling was that we could help others to do the same thing if they were willing to do most of the work themselves,” Dahl said.
The company uses its hiring practices as a selling point, with Dahl's picture on every package, even though a judge put him on conditional release after he rammed into some police cars two years ago.
This year Dave's Killer Bread was sold to Flowers Foods for $275 million. 


 Oregon company makes a point of hiring ex-convicts



Jobs for Felons: The Facts about Companies that Hire Ex offenders and Felons (2018)





companies hire felons | companies that hire felons | Companies that hire ex-offenders | Employers that hire ex-offenders | employers that hire felons | Jobs for felons | jobs for ex-offenders | jobs that hire felons | places that hire felons | felon friendly jobs | felon friendly employers | how to get a job with criminal record | second chance jobs for felons | temp agencies that hire felons | high paying jobs for felons


Oregon company makes a point of hiring ex-convicts


Eric Mayo

Read More

Friday, April 6, 2018

Jobs for Felons: Target pays $3.7 million to settle lawsuit over racial disparity in use of criminal background checks

Claims of racial disparity in how criminal background checks are used led to $3.7M class-action settlement. 


Target pays $3.7 million to settle lawsuit over racial disparity in use of criminal background checks
By Kavita Kumar Star Tribune

Target Corp. has agreed to pay $3.7 million to settle a lawsuit over concerns that the way it uses criminal background checks as part of the hiring process has disproportionately hurt black and Latino applicants.

“Target’s background check policy was out of step with best practices and harmful to many qualified applicants who deserved a fair shot at a good job,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which worked on the case. “Criminal background information can be a legitimate tool for screening job applicants, but only when appropriately linked to relevant questions such as how long ago the offense occurred and whether it was a nonviolent or misdemeanor offense.”

As part of the settlement of the class-action complaint, independent consultants will recommend changes to Target’s current screening guidelines. For example, they will come up with a list of convictions that are not considered job-related and should not disqualify a person from a particular position. They will also review the company’s appeals process that offers candidates a chance to show evidence of rehabilitation.

“We’re glad to resolve this and move forward,” the Minneapolis-based retailer said in a
Target pays $3.7 million to settle lawsuit over racial disparity in use of criminal background checks
statement. “At Target, we have a number of measures in place to ensure we’re fair and equitable in our hiring practices. … And in hiring, like the rest of our business, we hold diversity and inclusion as core values and strive to give everyone access to the same opportunities.”

Maurice Emsellem, program director with advocacy group National Employment Law Project, said this is one of the largest settlements of its kind and will likely provide a model for other employers as they look to adopt better hiring practices and policies.

In 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau agreed to pay $15 million to settle a similar class-action suit that involved an estimated 450,000 black and Latino applicants who may have been passed over for jobs because of background-check practices.

“Employers are now way more tuned into the laws and policies that encourage them to create more fair practices to hire people with records,” Emsellem said. “But there’s still plenty of big employers and small employers who have a long way to go to clean up their policies.”

As part of the settlement, which was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New York, black and Latino applicants who were denied employment from a Target store because of a criminal-background check since May 2006 will be eligible for priority hiring or interviewing for current open positions. Alternately, they can seek a financial award of up to $1,000.

Target is also giving $600,000 to five organizations that work to help individuals with criminal backgrounds find employment: AccessAbility’s Career & Educational Pathways program and RS Eden in Minnesota, Center for Employment Opportunities and the Fortune Society in New York, and A New Way of Life Reentry Project in California.

In 2016, Target was among the companies that signed on to a White House pledge that encouraged employers to eliminate unnecessary barriers facing applicants with criminal records.

Like many major employers, Target started using criminal background checks as part of its hiring process more than a decade ago. The retailer, which employs about 345,000 workers and is among the nation’s largest employers, used to ask job applicants about their criminal history on the initial application form.

But as part of the so-called “Ban the Box” movement, critics complained that such screening at the outset made it difficult for ex-offenders to get jobs even if their offenses were from when they were young or were not pertinent to the positions for which they were applying.

In 2013, Minnesota passed a law barring private employers from asking about criminal history on application forms. The following year, Target removed that question from its applications nationwide.

“Now, we gather criminal background information in the final stages of the hiring process,” Target said in a statement. “This ensures individuals are considered for employment based on their qualifications, interview and availability.”

However, the company said it still believes it’s important to consider conviction history.

“Individuals are given an opportunity to explain their criminal history and provide information about the circumstances, mitigating factors, good conduct and rehabilitation,” the company said. “We exclude applicants whose criminal histories could pose a risk to our guests, team members or property, and design our process to treat all applicants fairly while maintaining a safe and secure working and shopping environment for team members and guests.”

According to the lawsuit, Target’s policies mandated automatic rejection of applicants for broad categories of misdemeanors and felonies such as violence, theft and controlled substances convictions within seven years of applying. If an application required further review, it was forwarded to Target’s human resources division, which used its discretion to make a final determination “rather than apply any objective or validated measures,” the complaint said.

Such a screening process imported “the racial and ethnic disparities that exist in the criminal justice system into the employment process, thereby multiplying the negative impact on African-American and Latino job applicants,” the lawsuit said, noting that those groups are arrested and incarcerated at rates much higher than whites.

The plaintiffs in the case included Carnella Times, a 47-year-old black woman who applied for an overnight stocker position at a Target store in Connecticut in 2006. She was disqualified because of two misdemeanor convictions from 10 years earlier. The following year, she filed a discrimination charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which issued her a right to sue in 2015 after years of investigation.


Another plaintiff was Erving Smith, a 40-year-old black man who applied for a stocker position at a store in Pittsburgh in 2014. He was denied the job because of a drug-related felony conviction from 2004.



Target pays $3.7 million to settle lawsuit over racial disparity in use of criminal background checks


Jobs for Felons: The Facts about Companies that Hire Ex offenders and Felons (2018)


Target pays $3.7 million to settle lawsuit over racial disparity in use of criminal background checks



companies hire felons | companies that hire felons | Companies that hire ex-offenders | Employers that hire ex-offenders | employers that hire felons | Jobs for felons | jobs for ex-offenders | jobs that hire felons | places that hire felons | felon friendly jobs | felon friendly employers | how to get a job with criminal record | second chance jobs for felons | temp agencies that hire felons | high paying jobs for felons | Background Checks | Ban the Box



Eric Mayo

Read More

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Uber corporate policy offers felons a second chance

Story by Ryan Randazzo,Uriel J. Garcia and Bree Burkitt, The Republic | azcentral.com



Uber corporate policy offer felons a second chanceThe operator behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber vehicle that hit and killed a 49-year-old woman in Tempe Sunday night had served almost four years in an Arizona prison in the early 2000s on an attempted armed robbery conviction.

Uber issued a statement Tuesday saying the operator met its hiring requirements in Arizona. The company directed questions to Uber's public hiring policy that states, "Everyone deserves a fair chance."

However, requirements differ across states for those who provide transportation to the public. Uber recently came under fire for hiring felons in Colorado.

"Vehicle operators in Arizona undergo a screening process that checks local, state and national databases and meets local requirements by law," an Uber spokeswoman said. "The vehicle operator met these requirements."

The San Francisco-based company's policy for hiring drivers in California states that potential Uber drivers are disqualified if they have convictions on felonies, sexual offenses, violent crimes, DUI or drug-related driving offenses, speeding more than 100 mph or child abuse or endangerment in the past seven years. The company set lower standards for lesser violations such as speeding and non-fatal accidents.

A fatal crash in the dark

Elaine Herzberg was walking a bike across Mill Avenue outside the crosswalk near the Marquee Theatre about 10 p.m. Sunday when she was hit, police said.

Police said the vehicle was in autonomous mode with an operator, who has been identified as 44-year-old Rafaela Vasquez, behind the wheel.

Tempe police spokesman Sgt. Ronald Elcock said impairment did not initially appear to be a factor for either Vasquez or Herzberg. He added it was not apparent that the vehicle attempted to slow down while it approached Herzberg.

Autonomous vehicles have been used to shuttle Uber passengers in parts of Tempe and Scottsdale. Riders who are picked up by self-driving cars likely would recognize them from the presence of the exterior sensors.

$8.9 million fine in Colorado

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission company fined Uber's parent company $8.9 million in November 2017 after an investigation determined the ride-hailing service had hired nearly 60 drivers with previous felony convictions.

Colorado state law prevents individuals with felony convictions, alcohol or drug-related driving offenses, unlawful sexual offenses and major traffic violations from working for rideshare companies.

Uber attributed the unlawful hirings to a "process area" inconsistent with Colorado's ridesharing regulations. The company said all drivers must undergo a third-party background screening "per Uber safety policies and Colorado state regulations."

A second-chance policy

Uber proudly touts its corporate policy to offer convicts a second chance.

"One mistake shouldn’t have to lead to a lifetime of punishment," the company website says. "At Uber, we are committed to working within our communities to help provide opportunities to those who need them most."

Close to 300 people worked in the self-driving operations in Tempe as of November 2017. Uber has more than 18,000 contract drivers and 1,000 employees in Arizona, with most of those staffers at the downtown Phoenix operations center.

Court records show Vasquez has a criminal record in Arizona under a different legal name.

Records from the Arizona Department of Corrections show Vasquez served three years and 10 months in prison for attempted armed robbery and unsworn falsification, the latter from when she provided false information while applying government benefits. She was released from prison in 2005.

The attempted armed robbery was in July 2000, when police say Vasquez and an accomplice conspired to rob one of her co-workers and her employer, Blockbuster Video, of a work deposit of $2,782.98, court records show.

A probation officer wrote in court records that Vasquez recognized she had surrounded herself with people who encouraged “ill-advised” actions, leading her to get in trouble. She said she needed to change who she allowed into her life and make better decisions, the officer wrote.

It appears she followed through. Vasquez has had a clean record since.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Jobs for felons: Turning a Criminal Record Into a Successful Career


Uber corporate policy offers felons a second chance


Uber corporate policy offers felons a second chance

Uber corporate policy offers felons a second chance

companies hire felons | companies that hire felons | Companies that hire ex-offenders | Employers that hire ex-offenders | employers that hire felons | Jobs for felons | jobs for ex-offenders | jobs that hire felons | places that hire felons | felon friendly jobs | felon friendly employers | how to get a job with criminal record | second chance jobs for felons | temp agencies that hire felons | high paying jobs for felons | Uber


Eric Mayo

Read More

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

More Firms Willing To Employ Felons

More Firms Willing To Employ Felons


More Firms Willing To Employ Felons

By Heather Long
The Washington Post


Ron Nelsen has been in the garage door business since 1976. He can’t recall a time when it’s been this difficult to find workers for his family business, Pioneer Overhead Door in Las Vegas.

When his assistant handed him Ian Black’s resume in April, it seemed like a godsend. Black had more than a decade of experience.

Then Nelsen noticed that all of Black’s recent jobs were at a state prison.

Black is an inmate at Casa Grande, a work-release facility that’s a seven-minute walk from Pioneer Overheard Door. Nelsen knew the place well. He and other business owners in the industrial neighborhood had protested Casa Grande’s arrivalin 2005.

But now his business was booming, and Nelsen needed workers who knew what they were doing. He decided to interview the inmate.


“Ian did well in the interview. He was articulate and respectful, and he told me he’d been an idiot when he was younger,” Nelsen said. Even so, Nelsen said, “I was still apprehensive.”

America’s unemployment rate is at a 17-year low — at 4.1 percent — and JPMorgan predicts it could fall to 3.4 percent this year, the lowest level since the 1969. Businesses large and small complain they can’t find workers, especially ones willing to do the arduous labor of landscaping, construction or stocking shelves. Companies have traditionally sought out immigrant labor to fill some of these jobs, but the Trump administration is aggressively going after businesses that use undocumented immigrants. In this political and economic environment, big companies like Walmart and Koch Industries and smaller ones like Pioneer Overhead Door are turning to an underutilized source of labor: inmates and the formerly incarcerated.

It’s a large, mostly untapped pool of workers: Roughly 20 million Americans have been convicted of a felony, according to research by University of Georgia Professor Sarah Shannon and her colleagues.

But even if the need for workers is great and attitudes are shifting, it’s not an easy decision. On his desk in a big warehouse a few blocks from the Las Vegas Strip, Nelsen has statues of saints and the Virgin Mary. A practicing Catholic, he asked friends whether he should hire a Casa Grande inmate. Almost everyone said yes, he should offer a chance of redemption. Among fellow business owners, opinions were mixed.

Nelsen has five workers who hang the garage doors at homes and commercial facilities such as warehouses and carwashes. It was a big risk, some said, to take on someone who has been convicted six times for nonviolent burglaries. Nelsen’s wife urged him to take a chance. So he offered Black a job, and Black, who has been in prison for the past nine years, accepted quickly, saying it gave him a “sense of purpose” for the first time in decades.

Black spends his nights locked in a cell, but on weekdays, he wears a dark gray Pioneer Overhead Door uniform with his name on it. Customers don’t know about his past. They only see the quality of the work now. “He’s my best worker,” Nelsen said. “Out of all my technicians, he’s the one I wouldn’t want to lose.”

Some companies ask job applicants immediately if they have ever been convicted of a crime to screen them out, but the ACLU and the NAACP say they have seen a “change of heart” in the past year, with more businesses willing to take a chance on people with criminal histories. “Businesses are beginning to ask: Why did we have such stringent bans?” says Ngozi Ndulue, senior director of criminal justice programs at the NAACP.

Increasingly, business leaders see hiring people with criminal records as the right thing to do for America — and for their companies. Formerly incarcerated workers are often hard-working and loyal, and not looking to jump to another employer. “We’ve hired a lot of people with criminal records who have been good employees,” said Mark Holden, general counsel at Koch Industries. “What someone did on their worst day doesn’t define them forever.”

Black credits Nevada’s work-release program with breaking his “prison mind-set.” He had been in prison twice before for shorter stints that he says didn’t change him. He was released in 2008 with $25 to his name. With no money and few prospects, he went right back to what he knew before, the world of crime and drugs. Within two months, he was caught stealing again.

“I grew up in a very cliche childhood: Broken home. My mom passed away when I was young, and I bounced around a lot. I cared about nothing,” Black says. “I was a career criminal. It took a devastating amount of prison time for me to rethink my position in this world.”

Black has now spent nearly a decade in prison, staying clean from drugs and learning how to be “more thankful” and “not so judgmental.” He meditates and draws in the evenings. When he turned 40, he joined the prison squad that fights wildfires. A year later, he was able to apply for Casa Grande and get into a job orientation class called Turning Point. “I want to be able to look myself in the mirror. I want to be respectable,” Black, now 42, says.

Most of the money he earns goes to pay restitution to people he stole from and to the state of Nevada to cover rent at Casa Grande. But he has saved about $700, which he believes will be life-changing when he gets out of prison.

Black is among the 2.3 million Americans behind bars, about 95 percent of whom will be released. Finding better ways to get people from prison into jobs is a cause that has united conservatives, especially religious and business leaders, with progressives. It has even made it onto President Trump’s agenda.

“Many prisoners end up returning to crime, and they end up returning to prison,” Trump said at a White House event this month on prison reform. “We can help break this vicious cycle through job training.”

Only 45 percent of men released from prison had a job eight months later, according to a 2008 study by the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center. There’s a major push to change that now that the economy is far better than it was a decade ago. Some of the most outspoken advocates are conservative power brokers like the Koch brothers and Clay Bennett, owner of the Oklahoma Thunder basketball team. Last summer, Bennett invited ACLU fellow Megan Marcelin to speak to a large gathering of Oklahoma business executives to make the case for hiring people with criminal pasts. She found a receptive audience.

“This would never have happened a year ago,” says Marcelin, who is now with JustLeadershipUSA, a criminal justice reform advocacy group. “Businesses and corporations on the right are really playing a role in getting behind this issue.”

Many conservatives, including Trump, see prison-to-job initiatives as part of a larger goal of reducing prison and welfare costs and lowering unemployment.

Walmart and Koch Industries no longer ask about criminal histories on their job applications. That small step has given many more people a chance to get in front of a hiring manager. Walmart and Koch don’t do a full background check until the final stages of the hiring process, when they already have a sense of an applicant.

This is part of a broader movement known as “ban the box,” a reference to removing the check-box question on applications.

President Barack Obama banned the box for most federal government jobs. A grass-roots movement has advocated for changes in state laws as well. “It’s common sense: We want former prisoners to be able to support themselves,” says Beth Avery, a staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project. “That’s good for everyone in the long run. It reduces recidivism and public spending on incarceration.”

The federal government doesn’t track how many people with criminal histories have been hired across the country. But studies of cities such as Minneapolis that have banned the box found that more than 50 percent of people whose applications had been flagged with “concern” because of a prior conviction were hired after the law changed.

Nelsen says he’s become more aware of what these reforms can do for society — and for businesses.

“I was originally negative on Casa Grande,” Nelson said. “Now I’m one of the biggest beneficiaries of it.”

The ACLU and Koch Industries are also pushing for people with criminal pasts to be able to get state licenses to do everything from plumbing to being makeup artists to being security guards. Nearly 30 percent of U.S. jobs require a state license, according to the Brookings Institution, but some states prevent felons from getting licenses.

Another hurdle that remains is racial prejudice. Studies have found it’s twice as easy for white inmates and formerly incarcerated Caucasians to get jobs than for African Americans. Research by economists at the University of Virginia and the University of Oregon last year found that banning the box caused some employers to discriminate against African Americans and Latinos because hiring managers made assumptions about who was more likely to have a criminal record.

Black feels lucky to be working again and is preparing for a parole hearing in February. He has been mentoring a 20-year-old named Eric Fernandez, who recently joined Pioneer Overhead Door. Black showed him what tools to buy and taught him all the different types of garage door springs. In exchange, Fernandez drives the truck, since Black can’t get his driver’s license back yet.

What’s it like to be working with Black? Fernandez shrugs, signaling he hasn’t given it much thought.

“He’s pretty funny,” Fernandez says. He looks over at Black and they laugh in unison, pausing for a few seconds in the Las Vegas heat before getting back to work.



Companies that hire felons



More Firms Willing To Employ Felons



More Firms Willing To Employ Felons



Companies Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Felons | Companies That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Ex-offenders | Employers That Hire Felons | Jobs For Felons | Jobs For Ex-offenders | Jobs That Hire Felons | Places That Hire Felons | Felon Friendly Jobs | Felon Friendly Employers | Jobs for Felons | Jobs For People That Have Felonies | Jobs For People With A Criminal Record | Firms Willing to Hire Felons | Felon Friendly



Eric Mayo felons

Read More