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Showing posts with label second chance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label second chance. Show all posts

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Former felons deserve a second chance

The Times Herald - Published 3:42 p.m. ET Sept. 11, 2018

Former felons deserve a second chance
One of the things that is Pure Michigan is sending people to prison. Although incarceration rates have fallen the past few years, there are three times as many people in Michigan prisons now than there were four decades ago. If Michigan were a country, it would have one of the top 20 incarceration rates in the world and would likely be on a State Department watch list.

More than six of every 100 Michiganders is in prison. About twice as many are former felons, those who have been released from prison, although many are still repaying a debt to society they no long owe.

It turns out that society needs them. Michigan needs them to get up in the morning and come to work. For many, though, that isn’t possible because one of the first things many employers ask, after name and address on a job application, is whether the applicant has been convicted of a felony.

One of those who would have to answer yes is the voice of those Pure Michigan commercials. Ten years before “Home Improvement” and 18 years before the debut of the state tourism campaign, Tim Allen was paroled from federal prison where he was serving three to seven years after being arrested with almost a pound and a half of cocaine.

Allen found work after his felony convictions.

Other former felons should be given the same chance. Many won’t. Some former felons are reluctant to apply for jobs, knowing they will have to check that box. Many employers won’t look past that blemish on a potential asset’s past history. Either way, applicants don’t get interviewed, employers don’t learn about important and relevant training and experience, well qualified people won’t get jobs and businesses will struggle to fill vital positions.

The felony question isn’t a valid predictor of future performance and should be illegal. In a handful of states and a few cities across the country, it is. A bill to ban it in Michigan never got a committee hearing.

But an executive order of Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan last week just became one of about three dozen states that doesn’t ask the question of prospective state employees.

The city of Port Huron will no longer ask its applicants if they’ve been convicted of a felony. Beyond being a good business practice, it is part of City Manager James Freed’s campaign to give the city a reputation as a place welcoming to anyone who wants to work.

City Council can’t extend the ban to include other employers in the city, as Austin, Texas, and other cities have done.

That’s because, in March, Snyder signed Senate Bill 353, which prohibits local governments from enacting ordinances that restrict use of the felony question by private employers. Irony is not a crime.

Former felons deserve a second chance



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Former felons deserve a second chance


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Eric Mayo

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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