In the US, more than 2.12 million people have either been convicted or are ex-felons. It’s important to understand that each of them has its own stories, and we may never be able to understand them. But what’s understandable is that they want to make amends and work towards a second chance at life.
Contrary to popular belief, ex-convicts still add value to society, given that they are now changed for the better and would like to get their life back on track.
One simple mistake does not have to define who a person is for the rest of their life. More so if that person has already paid the price by law and served their time in prison.
Getting a job is essential for people trying to make a difference in their lives by leaving their criminal days behind and starting a fresh new life.
However, with differing opinions on ex-felons, it’s common to hear that companies don’t hire people with criminal records for the sake of the safety of other employees and the business.
Below is a list of 20 of the best companies that hire felons. If you fall into this category, you can quickly get a job and start working towards a sustainable income to rebuild your life.
The most popular job you can find as an ex-felon is at restaurants and food joints. You can expect these places to have a non-discriminating policy against all kinds of applicants, including felons. As one of the world’s largest and most popular fast-food joints, McDonald’s is easily a place where there is enough room for employment.
McDonald’s is widely known for employing felons, including those with misdemeanor charges against them. The recruitment team conducts a thorough background check before anything and ensures that even if you are an ex-offender, your past actions are not reflected in your present life.
Many felons have reported that they have found decent-paying jobs at McDonald’s across the country. Since the whole company is a franchise, the employment procedures might differ depending on state laws.
If your work is diligent and sincere, the recruiters might even recommend you for a promotion within the franchise, which means better pay for you.
Contrary to popular belief, Starbucks is one of the most generous in terms of offering jobs to felons. In fact, among all other fast-food joints like Starbucks, they stand out as one of the best companies that hire felons because they offer numerous company benefits to them.
As with any other applicant, you will have to go through a background check. When it comes to felons, Starbucks follows a case-by-case recruitment process. This means that regardless of your time in prison, you can still be part of the running to become an employee of the joint.
Most of the time, the background check for felons includes a few factors, such as the amount of time that has passed since the conviction was made, the severity of the crime/conviction, and its nature and relevance.
All things considered, if the recruitment team finds that you are an asset to the company, you can expect an appointment letter in your mail soon. You’ll also enjoy perks like health coverage, subsidized education, paid leaves, and other benefits.
Since this franchise has many locations, the recruitment policies and employee benefits might differ slightly from one location to the next. Hence, background checks will also investigatedifferent aspects depending on the state laws.
Starbucks is an excellent place to start if you are looking for a job as an ex-convict because their employment rate is much more preferable compared to other fast-food joints.
Most people tend to overlook huge companies like Microsoft when it comes to felon employment. However, the truth of the matter is that these companies typically have a range of jobs that are felon-friendly. And sure enough, Microsoft also offers a lot of employment for felons through programs like Workforce Foundation, which removes all the preconceived notions about hiring felons.
According to some websites, at least a 60% chance that an ex-convict can get hired to work for Microsoft. One of the main reasons behind this is that the company has signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge, which allows employers to treat all their candidates as equals without discriminating the felons.
Microsoft is also known for posting its job vacancies on felon-friendly job websites, showing that they are also ready to employ ex-offenders.
Although Microsoft is a great place to restart your life as an ex-convict, there is no guarantee that you will get a job despite your criminal record. The hiring result depends on a lot of factors. Apart from the regular eligibility requirements that all candidates need to qualify for, felons have to go through additional background checks.
This will help the company get a better idea of its criminal record and decide if they are a good fit for the company. Most of the time, they will consider the nature of the conviction, how long you’ve been out, and the severity of the conviction.
The Coca-Cola Company is a big company that employs thousands of people every year. So it is no surprise that an ex-convict can find their new beginning in a company like this. They also have large factories requiring thousands of employees to do the job.
Hence, it is likely that you will find an excellent opportunity for a job when you apply at The Coca-Cola Company. They believe in offering second chances to felons, which is why the company hires them. However, the hiring process will include specific procedures in qualifying the felon as fit for the job profile.
For example, you are most likely to get hired for a job at the Coca-Cola Company if you have already completed your rehabilitation period after getting out of jail. Another thing to consider is whether your charges have passed the 5-year mark or not before you apply.
If you have a recent conviction, it might lower your chances of getting hired.
Even if you have felony charges against you or misdemeanors in the past, you can still get a job at General Mills because they believe in giving second chances to all ex-convicts. They also have a wide range of job options for felons, so it’s worth your time to try and find a job working at General Mills.
Having a criminal record is not necessarily grounds for unemployment at General Mills, but the nature and severity of the crime might play a part in whether you get hired for the job or not. Applying for General Mills jobs will require you to undergo a thorough background check and a drug test.
The company is a diligent follower of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines for considering felons and ex-convicts for employment purposes. As long as you can show the recruitment team at General Mills that you are qualified for the job you are applying for, your criminal record is not a liability.
Delta Airlines have a history of hiring ex-felons for their jobs. And especially now, since the COVID-19 outbreak, airlines require more hands on deck than usual to get the system up and running.
However, like any other employee in the airline industry, felons who get hired on to Delta Airlines will have to go through the protocols of the Transportation Security Administration.
Other considerations include the time elapsed since the conviction and what kind of a felony it was that got you in jail in the first place. All these play a significant role in considering you for a job at Delta Airlines.
As big a company as Amazon is, it comes as no surprise that the company is growing at a rapid pace. This means that they are always in need of hiring more people to work with them. So if you’re an ex-convict, try your luck with Amazon when looking for an employment opportunity because they are known for hiring felons in the past as well.
The two most common departments under Amazon that hire many people, including felons, are the warehouse and the development branches. Before you choose a branch to apply to, make sure that you check the company policy and see if the severity and nature of your criminal record apply to the hiring process.
In most cases, the Amazon warehouse branch is more known for hiring ex-convicts because of the nature of the job. In most cases, your skills are what they are looking for, provided you pass the background check.
Walmart is also another franchise business that is known for hiring felons. It’s not the most sought-after job, but it provides a decent income and does not discriminate against felons for employment. Although their application forms don’t include any specifics about criminal records, you will have to go through a background check to determine your eligibility for the job.
If you have a good track record or have good references from other employees and authority figures after your conviction period, you will most likely get hired without any barriers.
Typically, the job will be centered on warehouse tasks like stocking up on supplies. However, if your record impresses employers, you might even get a job as a manager or handle the cash register.
Google is a company that is known across the globe for providing its employees with excellent employee benefits. The same goes for felons and ex-convicts. Although it seems unlikely, Google has many employment options, even for ex-convicts.
The most important thing employers are looking for is your eligibility to fill the role you are applying for, such as your skills and training relevant to the job profile. If they find you fit for the job, having a criminal record does not affect your hiring process.
If you are a felon looking for a way to rebuild your life by earning a sustainable income, you should give Google a try because they have signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge.
This allows the company to have a non-discriminatory policy against felons and allows previously incarcerated people to get a second chance in life.
Anyone looking to enhance their post-prison life with a decent job and income should try American Airlines. You might even be able to land a good-paying job with fantastic employee perks like the 401(k) plan and travel discounts.
However, since the job is related to aviation, all applicants will have to go through a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) background check for safety reasons.
Since American Airlines offer various job opportunities for felons, you can easily take your pick and apply for the job even if you have a record. As long as you qualify for the role, you have a chance of getting hired to work for them.
However, for obvious reasons, flight attendant and pilot roles are not open for employment for those with criminal records/
Pizza Hut is an international business franchise that employs thousands of people annually. They also have a no-discrimination policy against felons, so there’s no problem if you have a criminal past. You can still apply for the job, and if they find you eligible, you can earn a decent living off the pay and tips.
With more than 18,700 restaurants across the globe, it has been found that Pizza Hut employs all previously incarcerated people as long as they pass background checks. The employability of felons greatly depends on factors like how recent the crime was, the nature and severity of the crime, and what the person’s recommendation or references look like.
Like any other food joint recruitment process, Pizza Hut conducts a case-by-case analysis of all the felons before hiring them for the job.
If you’re into IT and technology, Facebook is worth giving a shot for your post-prison life. Not only is it an innovative company where you get to experience some of the most advanced technology, but it is also a steadily growing company, so there are many employment options for people, including ex-convicts.
Facebook is transparent about its hiring process and has also signed the Fair Chance Pledge, so you know applying for a job at Facebook will mean that you don’t have to face any discrimination, no matter your criminal record.
However, you should expect to go through a thorough background check and some company requirements to ensure that you are fit for the role.
Most job opportunities at Gap will require that you interact with customers. So, you might think you are not fit for a job with a criminal record. However, Gap has a long history of hiring felons for their job.
As long as you have experience in the retail market or have the skills to work for the role, you can get hired with decent pay. However, they require you to go through a background check to determine the nature and severity of your conviction so that they can decide if you are a good fit for the role.
Since all states have different policies regarding hiring felons and people with criminal records, the requirements and protocols are subject to change per state laws.
If you’re struggling to find something you like online, consider reading this article to find jobs that are both high paying and easy.
There is a wide range of opportunities for people interested in working at CVS health. However, there are also mandatory background checks conducted for all their applicants to be on the safe side.
You can work in the analytics or retail departments, depending on your skill set and experience. As an ex-felon, you can expect a good chance of scoring a decent job at CVS Health since they have a history of hiring ex-convicts.
However, CVS’s health policy states that they use a third-party agency for their hiring process, so the policies can vary depending on which agencies they use for the recruitment process.
At the end of the day, although there’s a good chance that you’ll get hired, you still have to consider the state laws regarding the employment of felons, as they can differ significantly.
Like any other company, Unilever also requires its applicants to undergo a background check to ensure that everything is as it should be. They do not discriminate against felons, so you can definitely find a job with them if you pass their hiring process.
Whether you get employed or not greatly depends on the recruitment team and if they find you fit for the role. Your felony charges will also dictate if Unilever will hire you because the conviction’s severity, duration, and nature play a considerable role.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s has a very progressive hiring process that allows people of all fields to get a job in their company. This includes felons and ex-convicts looking for a second chance at living an honest life.
They run a thorough background check for all candidates and ensure that their felony charges do not exceed the company policies and state laws.
According to research, there is at least a 60% chance that Prudential can hire felons because they have already signed up for the Fair Chance Business Pledge, which means that the company is about offering equal chances to all applicants.
They have also consistently posted their job vacancies on felon-friendly websites, so they are open to hiring felons for their company. However, certain felony charges might stop you from working with them because of the nature of the work ethic at Prudential.
The hiring process can also be subject to change depending on various locations and state laws. However, it does not mean you cannot get a job here. Consider applying for the job and let them run their background check so you can get the answer of whether you are qualified for the job position or not.
Uber believes that people with felony charges should not have to live the rest of their lives in misery. Those who want a second chance at a normal life should be entitled to their choices. Hence, Uber considers your application even if you have a criminal record.
In most cases, 7 years or more after being convicted is good enough to get hired by Uber. But you must consider these companies’ different requirements when hiring felons and comply with the background checks and interviews concerning your charges.
Uber has also signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge, so when you plan to apply for a job at Uber, you’ll find that their application has an option to tick if you are an ex-felon. Thereby reducing the bias and unfair judgment toward ex-convicts.
IKEA, like any other franchise business, requires a thorough background check from all its employees, so even if you have a criminal record, if you pass their checks, you might still have a fair chance at landing a job here.
The company is known to hire felons in the past, so don’t worry about getting disqualified because of your criminal records. You may also have to go through a drug test and other pre-employment tests and interviews to qualify for the job.
Other than this, several factors will decide if you get hired by IKEA as a felon:
- What type of felony charges are against you?
- What kind of experiences and skills do you have relevant to the job?
- How many convictions are against your name?
- How long has it been since you were out?
Tyson Foods offer many employment opportunities for felons. Because they are already known for hiring felons in the past, there is no doubt that when you apply as an ex-convict, you have a high chance of getting hired, depending on how your interview goes.
They believe in giving second chances to everyone, which is why Tyson Foods’ hiring policy includes a non-discriminatory law against felons. However, they conduct background checks on all individuals, including their criminal records.
According to the state laws for the employment of felons, Tyson Foods will decide whether you will get the job or not.
When it comes to businesses, marketing is their most potent tool for success, and hiring people with a criminal record can hamper their reputation.
However, a few companies still believe in the notion of second chances and offer ex-felons jobs in their company. Rebuilding life from scratch is difficult and lending a hand by offering a source of income and making an honest living goes a long way.
However, these companies also might require a full background check along with some references that will allow them to choose to hire you for the role. This also depends on your state and country because state laws can differ significantly.
The competitiveness of the job market can be pretty discouraging, especially if you consider the plight of felons. It’s already hard to get decent jobs without felony charges, but the job market becomes even more limited when you have one.
But the 20 companies mentioned above are some of the biggest and most well-known companies across the globe that see the goodness in individuals and have consented to give felons a second chance in rebuilding their lives.
They offer different job opportunities to these ex-convicts, taking into consideration several factors as to why and if they should get hired at all.
You’ll also find that most of these companies have signed pledges with the government to allow for a non-biased employment process during recruitment so that they give felons a fair chance at getting a job as long as they pass the eligibility criteria set by the company and the state.
If these kinds of jobs are not simulating enough for you, you can try reading up on some of the hardest jobs in the world here.
How Long Am I Supposed To Disclose My Criminal Conviction?
Regardless of how long you were convicted, you must disclose all the information to the authorities when they ask for it. This includes insurance agents, passport offices, and even job recruiters.
Is It Mandatory To Tell My Employer About A Criminal Conviction Against My Name?
Yes, you must inform your employer about any criminal convictions. In fact, it’s considered against the law if you intentionally hide your criminal convictions from your employer when they ask for it. More often than not, employers always ask for such information before hiring you for the job.
Your employer may also have every right to fire you from the job if they find out what you have been hiding. However, remember that you don’t have to inform your employer about arrests but felony convictions.
But in some cases, depending on the company’s recruitment process, the employer might ask you to disclose all background information.
What Are Some Things That Are Restricted For Felons In The United States?
In most states, felons are not allowed to serve on the jury or apply for federal grants. Depending on the state laws, the felon might not be allowed to apply for state grants as well.
Other benefits that get excluded are:
- Employment issues for specific jobs
- Cash assistance from the federal government.
- Possession of firearms
- Living in public housing
- Traveling outside the country
- Parental rights
What Will Be Shown On My Background Check?
Typically, background checks show any criminal records, including your social security number. It also shows your employment verifications, identity, credit history, and other financial records.
If you have any criminal records, it will show all the details of your felony charges, including misdemeanor convictions and any other criminal cases pending against you. It will also include any information on incarceration you’ve been charged with as an adult.
Are There Any Disadvantages Of Having A Criminal Record?
First, you’ll find that it’s more challenging to find a job, and good housing options, acquire a license, and even become ineligible to receive cash aid from the federal government.
Your criminal record will affect your right to vote, traveling options, getting loans, etc., depending on the situation and location.
What Is The Fair Chance Pledge?
The Fair Chance Business Pledge was launched in 2016 by the White House. This pledge is a call to action for all businesses to remove their restrictions regarding the employment of felons in the workforce. Essentially, this pledge is about giving felons a second chance to turn their life around post-prison.
What Kind Of Jobs Pays The Most To Felons?
Carpenters, technicians, truck drivers, and the military are some of the highest-paying jobs for felons.
Do Criminal Records Ever Expire?
Unless it’s a very exceptional case, most of the time, all criminal records are permanent. These records are available to anyone who conducts a background check, including insurance agents, passport offices, or even employers.
The court may consider expunging the conviction charges after 15 years if it’s an extraordinary case. Additionally, if your original conviction sentence was less than 5 years or 1 year, the court may agree to remove it from the record after 10 years and 5 years, respectively.
However, these are very exceptional cases, so mostly your record will be available on record indefinitely.
Is It Possible To Clear My Name From A Criminal Record After 5 Years?
It is possible to delete your criminal record after 5 years if your original sentence was less than 1 year. However, just because it is removed from the record does not mean it cannot be considered if the authorities see fit to use it against you.
It just means that the public view of your criminal record is blocked. The authorities still have access to it.
What Kind Of Companies Hires The Most Felons?
Retail markets, skilled labor, hotel services, oil and gas, restaurants, and delivery service companies are the ones that are high on the list for hiring felons.