As felons know, having a criminal record creates a huge challenge in finding a job after incarceration ends. Even though the formal sentence may be finished, the aftereffects linger for years.
The good news though is that there are employers who will hire felons.
Once felons get a job, it would seem like things would get easier, right? After all, getting that job was the hard part.
This blog post will cover the issue of whether a felony can get felons fired.
- Losing a Job Because of a Past Felony Conviction
- Losing a Job Because of a Current Felony Charge
- Dealing with a Job Loss
- Supporting Felons after Getting Fired
Losing a Job Because of a Past Felony Conviction
For felons, it isn’t even safe once being employed. Their past can still come back to haunt them and jeopardize their job.
Ninety percent of employers conduct a background check during the hiring process while only ten percent do not. Even for those that do a criminal background check, some felonies can be overlooked.
For felons who do not report their criminal record honestly, an employer could find out and fire them for being dishonest. As a recent blog post pointed out, if a felony has been expunged it does not have to be disclosed.
In case felons are hired, employers have the right to fire anyone for being dishonest. This is especially true for felons who hide their criminal record in order to get a job.
For those who find themselves in this situation, it is better to come forward and let the boss know the truth. To not do so, puts a job in even more jeopardy.
It is better to let the employer know themselves than for someone else to report it.
Otherwise, felons live and work with the knowledge that they were not truthful, and the truth could come out later.
For employers who did not do a background check at the time of employment, they may go back later and do one whenever they want anyway. They have the right to fire them later on.
Nevertheless, it is a sticky area. It is considered discrimination to fire someone solely for having a felony record, but employers do have the right to terminate anyone for lying on an application.
Or they may fire them if the employer is convinced that continuing to employ them could jeopardize the safety or well-being of the company.
Losing a Job Because of a Current Felony Charge
Felons who are convicted of another felony while employed, put themselves in the position of having to inform their employer. If this happens, be sure to retain legal counsel.
After all, going through the legal process will necessitate taking time off work to go to court. Then there is the inevitable sentence that accompanies a conviction.
It is best to inform the employer as soon as possible.
For states that are considered to have “at will” employment, they may legally fire an employee for pending charges and felony conviction.
“At will” employers are those who do not require a contract for workers who are hired. Some states, but not all, have such a designation. Be sure to check the state in question about this point.
However, even employees working under a contract can be fired, if there is a “moral” clause indicating employees can be terminated if charged with a felony offense or behave in ways that puts them and/or the company in a bad light.
Those felons who are charged with a felony while employed place themselves in great job jeopardy.
Employers have the right to set standards for employee conduct and can require employees to maintain a clean criminal record after being hired.
Informing an employer of a new felony charge depends on the state and the work industry. For those who work in education or law enforcement, an arrest must be reported.
The court will disclose the arrest to employers if those workers don’t.
Nevertheless, it is still a tricky point to fire someone facing felony charges. If an employee is accused of a felony, it may be safer for the employer to suspend the worker until the trial has been held.
Firing such an employee may result in legal problems for the employer. If acquitted of charges, this places the employer in a position of possibly being sued.
Likewise, if an employee plea bargains or is convicted of a misdemeanor instead of a felony, a law suit may result.
Dealing with a Job Loss
As the preceding points out, and as felons are already extremely aware, dealing with a felony conviction is difficult at any time.
It not only significantly impacts being able to find a job, but it can continue to haunt them much later on.
The best course of action is to be up front about a felony record in the application process. It obviously may take longer to find a job, but it will negate the possibility of being found out for lying on a job application.
Being honest in this case is a major step in the rehabilitation process. Another point is that once hired, a change to living an honest life will prevent further felony convictions and keep felons out of prison and with their families.
Supporting Felons after Being Fired
For families who want their loved ones with them, offer encouragement to face the challenges and live an honest life. They usually want to move forward but may not know how.
They are struggling with the impact their felony record has caused. Be there to support and encourage them as much as possible.
If they lose their job due to having a felony conviction, do not let them give up. Help them continue the job search and live the right way.
So what do you think about this blog post about whether a felony will get a felon fired. Have you or someone you know lost a job because of a felony? What was that experience like? Please tell us in the comments below.