Sunday, July 21, 2024

How To Get A Job In The US When You’ve Got A Criminal Record.

March 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Business, Weekly Columns

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( It may come as a surprise to some people, but the US is still the world’s richest country. And as the richest economy in the world, it has some of the most fantastic careers available anywhere. However, for many Americans, a career just isn’t an option. The incarceration rate in the US is the highest in the world. As of 2013, something like 716 per 100,000 people was in jail. The US plays host to 4.4 percent of the world’s population but houses some 22 percent of its prisoners. And that doesn’t include all the people that have been released, of which there are many hundreds of thousands more.

Of course, on top of the Americans that are in prison, or have been to prison, there are those who have been convicted of lesser offenses. As a result, something like 1 in 3 Americans has a criminal record.

So what should you do if you want to get a job in the US and you have a criminal record?

What Does The Law Say?Business people talking at desk

In the US, you don’t actually have to immediately tell a future employer about your criminal record in some cases.

For example, if you were convicted of a minor drug offense, and enough time has passed since you were convicted, you may not have to disclose it. Alternatively, if you have a certificate of rehabilitation, again you do not need to disclose it. Finally, if you were convicted as a child, you can try to get your records expunged.

If you have a criminal record and are trying to apply for work from overseas, you will have to obtain a US entry waiver. US entry waivers are different from the waivers, or pardons, given in Canada, and Canadian pardons will not be accepted in the US.

What Are Employers Obliged To Do?

The US criminal population is overrepresented by black and other minority groups. In other words, ethnic groups have been “over-criminalized.” As a result, it is illegal for employers to immediately throw out your application on the basis of any criminal record.

If an employer does not want to employ you because of your criminal record, they have to show that their reasons are job-related. For example, if you have been convicted of fraud, your application for a job in banking can be rejected. Or if you’ve been convicted of a violent crime, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get a job that involves close interaction with other people.

Is There Any Support Available?

Fortunately, there are many nonprofit organisations that can help. Many specialize in helping those with a criminal record find work in the US. And there should be a professional agency willing and able to help in your area.

One organisation that provides training and placements is the National Transitional Jobs Network. Their mission is to end chronic unemployment and poverty. And one of the reasons this is rife in the US is because of the number of people with previous convictions who cannot get jobs.

Staff Writer; Sherry Love

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