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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Felon feels background checks are unfair

Felon feels background checks are unfair


Felon feels background checks are unfair

What happens when a potential employer does a background check on you 

Hi Eric,


Thanks for allowing this email, and starting your blog. Although I do not know your credentials, or where you get your knowledge, just knowing there is an open discourse is helpful to those of us who feel desperate.

I am an ex offender who was convicted in 1977, and 1978 for 2 separate offenses. 

1977 robbery- this was a teenage indiscretion of joyriding in a stolen car with someone who lifted a set of keys from a key hook on the wall in a home where we attended a party and then, staying silent after we were caught. The robbery charge is because the keys were stolen from inside the home, making it a point of law 1978 for possession of a controlled substance. The reason I give that summary is to articulate the injustice of this practice of culling ex-offenders from the workforce. 

Particularly someone who has not been in trouble for over 33 years. Especially when, for decades, I have been employed successfully. In fact, I have a B.A. and an Associates in Applied Science degree- both with honors. I am currently unemployed, and unable to get past the background requirements for employment, and have been eliminated from numerous jobs that I would otherwise have gotten.

 My questions are these:

1.) How is it not a violation of our constitutional rights for a potential employer to data mine our info. without standing? And, have us self incriminate as a pre-employment requirement? Isn't the Constitutional protections for minority rights?

2.) What are the statistics of ex- offenders currently in USA? In other words how many millions of people are affected by this practice? Has this been challenged in the courts?
My belief is that our Constitution is piece of paper that becomes animated by the people who stand up for their own rights. After all, it is the minority that needs the protections, not majority opinion. That is the purpose of the document. Furthermore, without class action, the ACLU will not challenge this practice. How could we mount a class action challenge to this practice? I could go on ad infinitum, but I will just close with a sincere thank you for the work you are doing to help others get through this.


Best Regards,

Pablo

Felon feels background checks are unfair



Felon feels background checks are unfair

“Ban the Box” and Background Checks


Hello Pablo,

It is the responsibility of every employer to hire the best person they can find for any job. Having a criminal record does not necessarily eliminate you from consideration from any job. An employer is trying to get some idea of the type of people that are applying.

Too often with ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs assume that they were maligned because because they have criminal convictions. In many cases the may be correct but that is difficult or nearly impossible to prove. I am of African descent. I have often thought that was the reason that I didn't get many jobs that I know I was more than qualified for. Rather that wallow in anger and self-pity, my other choice was to keep applying for each and every job I felt I fit.

When speaking of the laws and the constitution, being a child of the sixties, I can tell you that laws do not change attitudes. Laws may say that I am equal but until individual prejudices go away, I will always have a difficult time.

My advice is to not give in to your frustrations but let them motivate you.

I hope this helps.



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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Background Checks  


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Felon feels background checks are unfair





Felon feels background checks are unfair



 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 | Employee Background Checks| Background Checks

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Felons should apply for all jobs they qualify for

Felons should apply for all jobs they qualify for

Felons should apply for all jobs they qualify for

Expungement gives felons a second chance

HELP! I am a 25 year old who is a recovering addict from an auto accident which almost killed me. I am highly educated in Finance/Accounting. I worked on Wall Street and was well paid as an intern. I am now on a three year probation. I was hired at a very good company in NYC before the court recently convicted me. A background check was done at that time and all was clear since I had no convictions. I turned down the job at the time - approximately a year ago. If I were to return to that company who wanted to hire me and make my contacts, would the company once again do another criminal background check? Are there any high paying jobs online I can do from home since I am educated with degrees and talented in my field? Is my life over?

I cannot attend Law School unless these felonies are expunged which is unrealistic. I don't know where to turn, I feel hopeless, I never leave my home.

I would appreciate any help or information you can give me. Thank you, God Bless.

Heartbroken



Felons should apply for all jobs they qualify for



Hello Heartbroken,

Felons should apply for all jobs they qualify for
I suggest contacting the person you were in contact with before. As I suggest to all ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs is to apply for every job you feel you are qualified for. The worst that could happen is you could be turned down. The way I see it, you will not get a job you don't apply for.

Regarding
expungement, many ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs require legal assistance. I suggest contacting your local legal aid office. There you could get low-cost or even no cost advice to help you find out what your options are in your state.  Just as an FYI, even with an expungement, your conviction will always be visible to the court system, law enforcement and government agencies.

I hope this helps.





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



Felons should apply for all jobs they qualify for




Felons should apply for all jobs they qualify for


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 | Expungement

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Good References help Ex-offenders and Felons get Jobs

Good References help Ex-offenders and Felons get Jobs

 

Good References help Ex-offenders and Felons get Jobs
More and more employers are paying attention to references when trying to decide who to hire.  Ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs should have good references that will help them make a good impression on employers.  There are employers that will hire a felon.  A strong set of references from the right people can help you get hired.

In short, references are upstanding members of the community who could attest to your character and/or abilities. A  set of great references could help an employer look past your background.  Ideal people to have as references would be religious leaders, former teachers, former classmates, former employers and local political leaders. 

Good References help Ex-offenders and Felons get Jobs
Most applications ask for three references.  You should always have at least four just in case.  Be prepared to list a name, title, and contact information for each one.  Make sure you have good contact information and keep it updated because over time, phone numbers, titles and addresses change.  Always be sure your information is current.

It is always a good idea to get permission from anyone you wish to use a reference. No one wants to be caught off guard and get a call out of the blue from a prospective employer.  Once you have your set of references and contact information, keep your list in your job search folder for easy access when it is time to fill out an application.

One thing to remember is, only offer references when they are requested.  They are far too valuable to be used as casual information.  When putting a resume together, never put them in the resume itself.  Include a line that may say "References will be furnished on demand.

Ex-offenders and felons can increase their chances to get jobs by getting some great references.

There are a great number of companies that will hire a felon or ex-offender.  There is a link below to a large list of companies that hire felons.  Now, bear in mind that these companies will not hire you just because you are a felon.  These companies will hire a person who is a felon if he/she is the best person for the job.  Getting some great references will put you in a better position to jet a job.



Good References help Ex-offenders and Felons get Jobs



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Good References help Ex-offenders and Felons get Jobs


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Friday, February 5, 2021

Ex-offenders struggle to find jobs amid COVID-19








Back in 2015, Bill Livolsi Jr. had no trouble finding work even though he'd been convicted of wire fraud and was upfront with potential employers about his crime.

But that was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I am applying to jobs left, right and sideways, " says Livolsi, who has been looking for work since April when he was released from federal prison after serving a 13-month sentence for the crime. "It is extremely difficult ... They're picking the cream of the crop when there are opportunities.''

Almost 1 in 3 adults in the United States has a criminal record, and finding a job when you have a past arrest or conviction has never been easy. But it's become even more difficult in the midst of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 health crisis that has left millions of Americans unemployed and significantly increased the competition for jobs, public policy experts say.

"Because of COVID-19 ... everybody is having a harder time, and that would be exacerbated for people who are being released from prison,'' says Kristen Broady, policy director for the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, which focuses on economic policy.

Low-wage positions, a lifeline for those with limited prospects, are in high demand and short supply. Restaurants and other industries that offer lower-paying jobs have struggled amid shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. And with a national unemployment rate of 6.7%, employers who have their pick of applicants may be less inclined to hire someone with a record, Broady and others say.   

The hiring dip threatens to slow the progress led by a growing number of states and municipalities to restore the rights of ex-offenders. They are passing laws that wipe criminal records clean, allow some who've committed felonies to vote, and bar employers from asking about criminal histories early in the hiring process. 

Most urgently, the hiring slowdown may make it harder for the 620,000 men and women released from prison each year to get a fresh start and contribute to their communities, advocates and ex-offenders say.  

Bill Livolsi Jr. has struggled to find work after being released from federal prison at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Meaningful employment is crucial,'' says Livolsi, 61, who lives in Owasso, Oklahoma. "It's crucial to rebuild your self-esteem, to rebuild your ties with your family, and just to be able to put food on the table.’’

COVID-19 makes hiring harder 


The jobless rate for those who've been incarcerated has typically been much higher than the general population. A Brookings report published in March 2018 found that 45% of those released from prison did not have any reported pay in the first calendar year after they returned home.

The current jobless rate for those who've been incarcerated is unclear, but placement services that work with ex-offenders believe it's risen during a pandemic that has caused unemployment to soar across the board.  

The Center for Employment Opportunities, which provides transitional employment, coaching and job placement for those released from prison, made 368 placements in April 2019. But in April 2020, near the start of the COVID-19 health crisis, only 140 of its applicants were able to find work.

Similarly, for the period between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2019, the center found jobs for 1,793 of its applicants, but placements dropped by half, to 900, during that same period last year. 

"We already know that in hiring, people with convictions face tremendous hurdles and I think COVID has just exacerbated those situations,'' says Chris Watler, the center's chief external affairs officer.

70 Million Jobs, an employment agency for those with criminal records, says it was particularly successful in finding former offenders jobs in shipping, warehouses and food processing plants. But as the pandemic took hold, "business dropped almost overnight, by 90%,'' says its founder Richard Bronson.

"We were doing very well and then we were virtually out of business," says Bronson, a former financial services executive who started the agency after he served time in prison. 

Will they commit more crimes?
Job seekers who are ex-offenders have to overcome stigma and suspicions that they can't be trusted and may be prone to commit another crime, Bronson says. But historically low unemployment rates before the pandemic, which left tens of thousands of jobs unfilled, made employers more receptive to applicants who'd been incarcerated.

The need for workers also boosted efforts by organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management to get employers to commit to giving qualified applicants with a criminal record an equal chance to be hired.  

But barriers to employment have remained steep. A majority of employers still check to see if job applicants have past convictions, and a host of laws prohibit people convicted of a felony from getting licenses necessary to work in various higher-paying fields such as health care or cosmetology.

Those obstacles have ramifications for not only the individuals who struggle to find work but the economy as a whole, social justice experts say.       

"There is a public safety angle if people can't find jobs when released from prison,'' says Ames Grawert, senior counsel for the Justice Program at New York University Law School's Brennan Center for Justice. "It's more likely they'll return to crime which no one wants. And there’s research that homelessness is more likely and deep poverty... Even those who do find jobs earn shockingly less than their peers."

The economy suffers


The broader labor market suffers as well. When those with felony convictions or who've been incarcerated struggle to find jobs, the economy loses out on roughly 1.7 to 1.9 million workers, and between $78 billion and $87 billion in gross domestic product, according to a paper by the Center for Economic and Policy Research), released in June 2016, that examined 2014 data.  

Having a job can help reduce the chance ex-offenders will commit new crimes, though the quality of the position and the ability to earn higher wages is key to success as well, research shows.

Chauncey Floyd has struggled to find work after being released from prison last year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Getting Out And Staying Out, a New York area reentry program, says that recidivism rates for its participants who've gone to school, undergone training, received mentorship, or gotten jobs in the previous 90 days are 15% or lower, compared with 67% for young men in a similar age group nationwide. The recidivism rates for its participants dropped as low as 10% early on in the pandemic, says Sonya Shields, Getting Out And Staying Out's chief operating officer. 

Eager to use new skills in jobs


Chauncey Floyd, who returned home last year after serving nearly 16 years in prison, says that like him, many former offenders just want to move on from their pasts and provide for themselves and their families.

Floyd says he was eager to find a job using the computer programming skills he learned while incarcerated. But conversations with potential employers usually end when he tells them he has a record.

“I was ... trying to find a career, not necessarily trying to grab a job just to have one,’’ says Floyd, 46,  who is living with family members in South Carolina.

He's now looking for more manual positions and hopes to eventually start his own business. "You just want to basically have a chance,’’ Floyd says. “Me, going to prison, I don’t want to pay for it for the rest of my life … Some people actually just want to do better.’’

Don't ask about criminal records in job interviews
While hiring has slowed, larger efforts to give ex-offenders more opportunities continue, advocates and public policy experts say. 

Twenty-six states and Washington, D.C., have passed legislation that bar employers in the public or private sectors from asking early in the hiring process if an applicant has a criminal record, says Michael Hartman of the National Conference of State Legislature's Civil & Criminal Justice Program. 

And several states, including Pennsylvania, California, North Carolina, and Utah, have passed or are considering "clean slate'' laws that automatically clear the records of some offenders after a certain amount of time, according to a compilation of research on reentry hurdles and initiatives by the Center for American Progress, National Employment Law Project and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.  

On the federal level, U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, introduced the "Clean Slate Act'' in December which would automatically seal the federal records of those arrested for simple drug possession. Those convicted of such offenses would have their records sealed after they finish their sentence. And the legislation would also create a framework for ex-offenders to request the sealing of records for other nonviolent crimes.

"That was a real breakthrough,'' Grawert said of the bipartisan bill, which if passed will make it easier for people who've been arrested or convicted to find work without answering questions about their past. 

Promises after George Floyd death


Promises by many businesses to address systemic racism in the wake of the protests that followed the killings of George Floyd and other African Americans could also open up opportunities for the formerly incarcerated, who are disproportionately Black and Latino, advocates say.

“I’m hopeful because I see in the job seekers that I work with a real passion to work, to contribute, to grow,'' says Watler. "And increasingly, I’m seeing employers ... waking up to the fact that their practices have to evolve.'' 

Follow Charisse Jones on Twitter @charissejones    



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Eric Mayo

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Monday, January 25, 2021

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today



How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Finding a job in this day and age is different than it was even five years ago.  The computer age has changed the way we look for and apply for jobs.  Felons looking for jobs face different challenges than other job seekers.  By using some different techniques, felons can dramatically increase their job opportunities.  Take a look at these tips and your next job will not be far away.

Get out and Network

Asking people you already know about jobs that may be open is called networking.  This is the single most powerful way to get job leads.  In fact, most people get their jobs this way.  Networking is works so well because many employers will take a good a look at people who are referred to them.

How many categories of people do you know?  This a big group of people who can provide you with a lot of quality job leads.

Friends
People in the neighborhood
How Felons can Land Jobs TodayParole/probation officers
Relatives
Members of your worship group (especially religious leaders)
Former co- workers
Other Former Inmates
Former teachers
Former employers
Classmates
Casual acquaintances
People you do business with (Barber, landlord, doctors)


This is eleven categories of people.  Let's say you got five job leads from people in each category. That is a possible 55 high quality leads for jobs.  That would be a great start for your job search.  This the single most powerful way to get a job and it how most people find jobs

Get a Professional Looking Email

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Your email address should have a professional look.  Employers will probably take more seriously if you have a professional looking email address.  You may want to one that uses your first and last name separated by a period, followed by the two numbers of your date of birth  ex: richard.jenkins21@mail.com


Clean Up Your Social Media

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Clean up your social media
With the popularity of social media, it would be difficult to find a lot of people who are not using some form of it. More and more, employers are checking social media pages to get a better idea of
who they are considering.  So take a good look at your social media profile or page.  Is there anything that leave a bad taste of an employer's mouth?  You may want to remove it.  That means any objectionable pictures, posts or videos.

Apply for Every Job You are Qualified for

How felons can land jobs today
Too many felons miss out on jobs simply because they don't apply.  Felons get jobs everyday.  Don't assume that you will not be hired because you have a record.  Never talk yourself out of a job.  What you must understand that the numbers on on your side when it comes to getting a job with a criminal record.  More applications, will lead to more interviews.  More interviews will lead to more opportunities to get hired.  Make a goal of a certain number applications each week and stick to it. Every application you fill out will take you one step closer to getting a job.

Get Professional Looking Interview Clothing

The choice of clothing you wear to an interview will have a huge impact on your chances to get hired.  Remember you are not going to a nightclub or a party.  An interview is a business meeting and you should look like you are ready for business.  Your clothes will create an image or perception of the type of person you are, so choosing your look is critical to presenting yourself as a professional.  It doesn't matter what position you apply for, you should present yourself as a professional.

Men

Men should should wear a dark suit, a light shirt, a tie and shoes that can be shined.  If a suit is
How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
unavailable, dark slacks, light colored shirt, a tie and once again, shoes that can be shined.

Women

The ideal look is a classic business suit (either slacks or skirt,) a light colored blouse and coordinated shoes with a medium or low heel.  Earrings should be small. Nail polish and makeup should be natural looking and tasteful.

Not everyone has clothing like described above, but it is important to get them.  How you look will definitely influence an employer.  If finances are an issue, you may want to look into thrift stores to find appropriate interview clothing.  At thrift stores you will find suits, slacks, shirts, ties and shoes at very affordable prices.

Need Interview Clothes? Ex offenders and Felons Should try Thrift Stores

No matter where you find your clothing, clean and neatly pressed clothing will give you the professional look and help you make a good impression.

When looking for a job, dress like you are going to an interview

I encourage ex-offenders and felons to dress like you are going on an interview whenever you go out filling out applications.  You never know who you are going to meet on your job search.  It's always better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.

Make a list of your skills 

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Make a list of all of your skills and be able to talk about each one.  Make a list your skills and practice talking about them.  The better you can explain you value, the better your chances to get hired. The skills you should focus on are:



Work-specific Skills

These are skills that were acquired by working at a particular jobs.  Can you paint, cook, use tools or perform other types of work?  The skills you used to perform on a job are all examples of work-specific skills.

Transferable Skills

These are skills that can be taken from one type of job and used in other types of work.  Typing, use of office equipment, and telephone skills are all examples of transferable skills.

Personal Skills

These are skills that are part of your personality that helps you do other things well.  Are you a punctual person?  Do you work well under pressure?  Do you work well with customers?  These are all personal skills.

These are three types of skills you can sell to an employer.  If you can easily talk about your skills and how they can benefit an employer, you can get job, even with a criminal record

Follow Up

Follow up with everyone you meet on your job search.  If you fill out an application, find out the name and phone number of the hiring person.  If you get an interview, always get the business card of the person you interview with. The business card will have the interviewer's name, title, address, phone number  and email address.  Right after the interview, you may want to send a thank you email.  If you really want to stand out, you could even send a thank you card.

Get Good References

Having a few good references may be the difference that could get you hired. Have a list reputable who would say something positive about you make a list of five great references.  A reference may look like this:
How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Mr. David O'Bannion
Vice President, Marketing
XYZ Company
922 N. Bank St.
Chicago, IL 60610
312-555-3222

References should never be included on your resume.  They should be listed on a separate sheet and only be submitted upon request.  Before you use anyone as a reference, you should ask their permission.

Use your One-stop Career Center

How Felons Can Land Jobs Today
Every ex-offender or felon looking for a job should visit their local One-stop Career Center.  You will find many resources that can help you find a job or get training for a new career.  You may get personal assistance from trained employment counselors.  You can get help writing a resume, learn interviewing techniques and find lists of open jobs in your community.  Click this link to find your local One-stop Career Center  One-stop Career  Centers



How felons can land jobs today



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Eric Mayo

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