After a criminal conviction, trying to begin a career in any field is challenging. The consequences of having a felony criminal conviction, often and unfairly, extend to life after serving a prison sentence. Perhaps the most significant challenge comes in finding a job after a sex-related conviction.
In this article, we will examine the effects of a sex conviction on a career and the challenges that exist for convicted sex offenders.
- Where Can A Sex Offender Work?
- Jobs That Hire Sex Offenders
- Effects of a Sex Conviction on a Career
- Careers that May Be Challenging to Enter With A Sex Offense
- How to Deal with a Sex Offense on a Job Application
- Search For A Job Now!
Where Can A Sex Offender Work?
Even after the terms of any sentence have been completed, there will still be a criminal record for the remainder of a person’s life along with continuous registration as a sex offender.
Typically, a misdemeanor conviction will remain on someone’s record and be available for public viewing for three years before it can be expunged. A felony conviction will generally remain on a person’s record and be available to the public for five years before it can be expunged.
After being convicted of a sex-related crime, the restrictions that are imposed can prevent an individual from pursuing a career in certain areas. Entering the sex offender registry after comitting a sex offense is required by federal law. One of the major restrictions is on where they can live. Most state laws prohibit registered sex offenders from living or visiting a residence that is within 500 feet of a child safety zone.
A child safety zone may include:
- Youth centers
- Athletic centers
- Daycare centers
Those who have been convicted of a sex crime are also typically prohibited from seeking employment in a business located in any of those areas. Employment and other related restrictions in place are set by local laws in each jurisdiction. While every state is different, the restrictions existing are very similar, and prohibit working with children. The best source for information regarding restriction against an individual are legal counsel or a state agent.
Jobs Hire Sex Offenders
It’s easy to get frustrated and discouraged when applying for jobs even under the best circumstances. Having a sex conviction can make this even more challenging.
However, there are a number of areas in which a sex offender can find work. Fields that have skilled labor and intensive training are often areas where individuals with a sex-related conviction can gain employment.
While it may not be an easy or obvious path, gaining a college degree in a specialized field can be an advantage. There are many college degrees that lend themselves to felons getting an education and finding employment, even with a sex crime. These include areas such as criminal justice and engineering.
A felon with a sex conviction can pursue any degree he or she wants. Although 60% of colleges consider criminal history in their admissions process, there is no standard policy regarding a background check.
Any felon who wants to get a degree can find a college that will accept him or her. The challenge may be in obtaining a job after graduating, but this can be accomplished with perseverance.
Some areas that sex offenders may be able to get a job include:
There are a number of truck driving jobs available with companies that are willing to hire felons with a sex offense. It’s generally recommended to attend a school to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) first, which is required for most truck driving jobs.
There are many opportunities in the construction industry. Smaller companies are more willing to allow a sex offender to demonstrate his or her skills in a particular trade within the construction field.
There are various trades within the construction industry, including:
There are a number of restaurants, especially fast food restaurants, that hire sex offenders. Some of these include:
Animal shelters are known to hire sex offenders since there is typically little contact with the public.
Temp agencies are another good choice for felons even with a sex offense. Since they work with a variety of employers, it can be easier to find one that’s willing to give a sex offender an opportunity.
Sometimes these temporary positions can turn into full-time positions.
There are many opportunities for felons who want to start their own business. Being an independent contractor can offer those with a sex offense a chance to work for themselves and utilize their skills.
There are many opportunities for sex offenders to work online. Those positions that directly employ individuals for a W-2 job often conduct a background check. However, those that create contracts for an independent 1099 position typically do not complete a background check.
Don’t be discouraged when seeking employment. Maintaining a positive attitude and demonstrating marketable skills can be the biggest asset and the difference in landing a job.
Effects of a Sex Conviction on a Career
A sex conviction will not prevent a felon from finding a job, but it does make it more difficult. Employers are reluctant to hire anyone with a criminal record, and this is especially true if it is a sex-related crime.
One of the difficulties in finding employment with any type of conviction is employer perception. Employers tend to see all crimes as being of equal severity. With any offense, many employers carry the view that felons are dangerous, regardless of the type of crime. If it is a sex crime, the fear becomes even greater.
Sex offenses tend to be viewed as a drastic violation of morality, with grave and irreversibly effects to another’s will and freedom. There will be drastic effects on job opportunities for a felon with a sex offense. There are several reasons why it is challenging to get a job with a sex conviction.
Prospective employers will usually ask about a criminal record and conduct a background investigation because they want to hire someone they can trust. An employer will review someone’s criminal record to determine if the type of crime involved in the conviction has any bearing on the particular job position.
Typically, sex offenders have certain restrictions:
- Limited or no internet access.
- Having movement restricted to a certain area.
- Restricted contact with minors or a victim.
- Being unable to own or purchase firearms.
- Regular drug and alcohol screening.
- Limited housing options.
Employers want to protect employees and customers from any type of harm, which includes keeping them away from people who have committed sex offenses.
Megan’s Law was enacted in 1996 as a response to the death of a child by a sex offender. Megan’s Law requires states to enact laws and have registration of convicted sex offenders so communities can be informed of the presence of these offenders.
In most states, Megan’s Law makes it illegal for employers to use any information for purposes relating to employment or health insurance. Megan’s Law will be upheld for any job that involves children or another vulnerable group.
When deciding on whether or not the job involves a degree of risk, employers may take into account the following:
- State’s public policy to encourage employment of felons
- Duties and responsibilities of the job
- Extent that the crime would affect a felon’s fitness for ability to perform
- Time elapsed since the offense
- Person’s age when the crime was committed
- Seriousness of the offense
- Information demonstrating rehabilitation and good conduct
While the obstacles may seem high, they can be overcomed. Additionally, there are several groups that are hoping to examine and reform current laws and restrictions that exist. These groups understand how difficult it is for an individual with a previous sex-related conviction to find employment.
Careers that May be Challenging to Enter with a Sex Offense
To be eligible for employment with many federal agencies, an applicant must meet certain standards. Situations that may disqualify a candidate for a federal position include conviction of a felony whether it is a sex crime or not.
Most state laws don’t specifically prohibit registered sex offenders from holding certain occupations. However, licensing agencies may deny professional licenses to sex offenders in certain occupations. Additionally, the conditions and restrictions that are attached with a sex-related conviction prevent individuals from accessing multiple sites. For registered sex offenders, restricted occupational fields will likely include:
- Daycare workers or operators
- Physicians or other healthcare providers
Every state and offense may have different restrictions, and if any concerns exist, individuals should immediately seek legal counsel or refer to and legal agreements.
How to Deal With a Sex Offense on a Job Application
Many states allow felony convictions to be expunged from a record. If this is available, it would certainly be helpful to clean up a criminal record. The report from court where the charges were filed can be helpful. Checking with county, state, and federal courts is recommended.
When applying for a job, the question of a criminal sex conviction needs to be answered truthfully. Someone may be automatically disqualified if there is a lie that is discovered by a potential employer.
Questions about criminal history may only ask for information regarding felonies. If the question does not ask about misdemeanor convictions, they do not have to be disclosed.
Specific information regarding a criminal record should be clearly stated to a potential employer:
- Briefly describe what happened with an acceptance of responsibility
- State what a person did while incarcerated to better him or herself
- Explain what someone is doing now to move past the conviction
- Demonstrate having learned from one’s mistake
A sex conviction should be explained briefly and accurately. Take ownership for the mistake and state what that experience taught, and how he or she has changed since then.
When asked about a sex conviction, it’s important to answer the question directly and honestly. The employer knows that you are aware of what is on your record. Attempts to pretend that you do not know makes you appear dishonest.
Making mistakes is part of life. Showing that he or she is qualified and honest will give the best chance to find employment.
Search For a Job Now!
It can be difficult to move forward, but there are companies that are willing to look past an individual’s past mistakes. Visit the jobsforfelonshub.com job page to see what opportunities exist in your area.
What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to get hired with a sex offense on his or her record? What was that like for him or her, and how did he or she achieve success? Please tell us in the comments below.