Job applications often ask the applicant if they have ever been convicted of a felony. Some applicants attempt to conceal their criminal record by lying on the application, thinking that the employer won’t notice. Background checks are a routine part of the employment process, so applicants may face serious consequences from making a false claim.
Failing to disclose that you have a felony on your criminal record can significantly compromise your ability to seek employment. The Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus is available to help you determine the next steps forward. Contact our attorney for guidance specific to your case.
Loss of Employment
The biggest risk of attempting to conceal a felony is loss of employment. Even if the applicant does manage to get hired, they may be terminated if they fail the background check later on. Background checks usually are extensive and cover an unrestricted length of time, meaning even old convictions can show up in a report.
In a case where the employee doesn’t complete a background check but still discovers the hidden felony, they can still terminate the employee. The cause of the termination may be based on the employee’s dishonesty rather than the employer potentially choosing not to hire them based on their criminal history.
Confiscated Professional License
Professionals are sometimes required to disclose any criminal matters they’ve encountered, and these may include arrests or convictions to a licensing board. If an individual disobeys these mandates, they can lose their license. Such is true for teachers, lawyers, healthcare professionals and more.
Loss of Valid Claims
In the case that the applicant is hired and eventually faces a legal problem in the workplace, they may not be able to receive compensation for their claim. For instance, if the employee states that they were discriminated against by their employer, they cannot receive compensation even if that claim is valid. The employer might invoke the after-acquired evidence rule to demonstrate how they wouldn’t have hired the employee if they were aware of the conviction.
Employers face certain restrictions during the interview process and the information they can request. While an employer can ask an applicant if they had ever been convicted of a crime, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission established parameters limiting how employers can use the information. Employers cannot completely ban felons since doing so may disproportionately impact minority groups. Rather, the policies ask that employers must connect a disqualification based on a felony to a business necessity.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires employers to notify applicants if they will perform a criminal record search. The applicant must then allow an employer to use and receive the report. Some states require employers to complete background checks on applicants that would be working with children, elderly individuals and the disabled.
Discuss Your Options With an Attorney
Job applicants should honestly answer whether they were convicted of a felony, since failing to do so could lead to major complications later on. In some cases, it may be possible to expunge a criminal record, increasing your chances of success in the future. The Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus is here to support you. Contact our firm to schedule a consultation where you can review your case with our attorney.