How Can a Felon Get Bonded?

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Employers who want to assure the honesty and integrity of its employees may seek to obtain a bond on its workers.

The issue is whether or not a felon can get bonded. Let’s look at this issue.

In this blog post, we’ll cove the following:

  • What Is Bonding?
  • Requirements for Bonding
  • Federal Bonding Program
  • Background Check?
  • Does the Type of Felony Make a Difference?
  • Steps to Take

What Is Bonding?

All employers want to maintain safety and assurance against theft, fraud, or other employee-related losses. For these issues, employers can seek bonding insurance from an insurance company.

There are different types of bonds available. So if you come across the term bond, it can mean different things.

A risk management bond protects an employer against loss of finances from employees that have access to cash, checks, and securities. This bond provides financial resources for a business in the event of a loss.

A surety bond is a type of bond that a construction manager might get that assures the quality of the work that a trade specialist like an electrician or plumber completes.

A fidelity bond insures the fidelity between the employer and employee. This bond will pay for any dishonesty on the part of employees.

This is the most common bond, and the one that is applicable for the purposes of this blog post. Bonding also applies for employees in the accounting department or officers of a company. Bonding may also be implemented for any employee considered to be a high risk.  

Requirements for Bonding

While bonding is intended for employees who are high risk, the standards for typical bonding available from an insurance company stipulate that those who are considered untrustworthy are not eligible.

The reason goes back to the minimum requirements that begin with a background check of criminal and driving records.  

This includes those with felonies, addiction problems, welfare, poor credit, or a dishonorable discharge from the military.

Major felonies can disqualify many, and a credit check could also serve to work against felons.

Many employers believe that once a criminal, always a criminal, they might think that hiring felons will place their business at risk for theft, fraud, or other dishonesty.

A bond is an insurance policy that many employers carry to protect them against monetary or property loss due to employee dishonesty.

For those companies that have bonding insurance, when an applicant seeks a job, they will undergo a background check by the bonding company. The check will be for criminal history and to verify references to establish the honesty of the applicant.

Most insurance companies will not bond anyone with a criminal history, including arrest, conviction, or incarceration. As a result, many felons cannot be bonded. Felons are typically considered to be high-risk employees.

Felons will have a great deal of difficulty with this process, which typically results in their not being hired for a position that requires bonding.

So what do felons do when they encounter these issues? That’s where the Federal Bonding Program comes in.

Federal Bonding Program

The government recognized the issue that felons had and came up with an alternative that could be of great assistance.

This is the Federal Bonding Program, established through the Department of Labor in 1966.

The Federal Bonding Program was created to help qualified high-risk job applicants whose background, especially a felony, get another chance for employment.

The bonds offered through this program are free for applicants and employers in any state. Any employee, either full or part-time, can be covered for a six-month period.

If you acquire coverage through the Federal Bonding Program, you can qualify for traditional bonding for life by demonstrating honesty on the job for the six months offered by the Federal Bonding Program.

The Federal Bonding Program is designed for those who are:

  • Convicted of a felony
  • Recovering from substance use disorders
  • Welfare recipients
  • Individuals with poor credit records
  • Economically disadvantaged with a poor work history
  • Dishonorably discharged from the military

To qualify for the Federal Bonding Program, a high-risk worker must:

  • Have a job offer that requires a bond 
  • Be of legal working age for a particular job
  • Be paid wages with federal tax deductions

This represents a reasonable alternative for felons seeking employment.

The Federal Bonding Program has had great success since its beginning and has helped reduce a return to prison for those who are enrolled in it.

Background Check?

Of course you have to deal with a background check for almost everything you apply for since your conviction.

How about the Federal Bonding Program? Because you have a felony conviction, you are a high-risk employee. That makes you able to take advantage of the Federal Bonding Program.

One of the keys to this program, though it isn’t stated, is that it is easy to get by meeting the qualifications. You can get a bond here quickly and simply.

The program states that you can qualify for and receive bonding in a single day through the Federal Bonding Program.

So how about the background check? There is no direct background check that is completed when you apply for the Federal Bonding Program. However, this is a case where there could be an indirect background check. What is that?

Simple. If you need a bond as part of job requirements you must have a legitimate job offer. For most jobs you have to go through an employer background check.

You can’t get around that. 

Does the Type of Felony Make a Difference?

This is a good question. Let’s look at this issue.

If you are applying for a job in a position that would require a bond, we’ll consider what types of felonies might disqualify you from getting a job like this.

Those who have been convicted of a more serious offense such as a violent or sexual offense will be at a disadvantage. This will make it challenging to pass the background check for many types of jobs, including work in a position like welding, for example.

Otherwise, potential employers would likely consider your felony record over the past seven years, looking at those felony convictions that would relate to a loss of trust like fraud or a financial crime.

Steps to Take

So, if it’s a job in which having a bond is a possibility, once you have satisfied the background check and are offered a position you become eligible for the Federal Bonding Program.

This would provide you a bond for a six-month period with the opportunity to qualify for a much longer period of time with honesty and integrity.

So, if you want to get bonded, you will have to be honest about your criminal background.

You could lose out on bonding if you aren’t honest. Don’t lose the opportunity you have.

When looking for a job that requires bonding, it would be in your best interest to be ready for a job offer to do a background check on yourself to see what a potential employer would discover.

You could also see if you are eligible to have your record expunged. That way you could honestly state on a job application that you haven’t been convicted of a felony.

You have made mistakes in the past, but you don’t have to be defined by them. You are defined by how you recover from those mistakes.

If you want to get bonded, don’t get discouraged and give up.

You can live an honest lifestyle.

What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to get bonded with a felony? What was that like and what happened? Please tell us in the comments below.

About the author

After earning his MBA from Benedictine University, Ron was looking for a new challenge and stumbled on the idea of helping the formerly incarcerated.

Using what he learned, Ron developed this website as a free resource and has worked with his team​ to continue answering questions for those in need.

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