What are some barriers to employment after a felony conviction?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2020 | Felonies

A felony conviction on your criminal record can result in many negative consequences beyond the sentence the court hands down. One area where it can have a huge impact is employment. 

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a felony conviction can lead to you not being able to work in some professions, in certain job positions and for specific employers. There are two specific situations that might impact you. 

Moral character clause

Some employers include a good moral character clause in their employment agreements. This is a vague term that the employer may identify in many ways. However, a good moral character clause usually means that if you are a felon, then the company will not hire you because they consider that a sign that you lack good moral character. 

Blanket ban

Another issue you will come up against is a ban. In general, most employers cannot issue a statement that they will not hire felons without considering each person on a case-by-case basis. This is due to discrimination issues that can come from employers not hiring people of a certain race who are more likely to have felony convictions. 

However, there are certain professions that have an exception. Most often the law will ban felons from working in specific positions or for certain employers regardless of the details of their case. These blanket bans sometimes list specific felony charges that will make you ineligible. For example, violent crimes often fall under an employment ban. 

The main issue with blanket bans that do not consider circumstances is that they eliminate people who are trying to rebuild their lives and get away from crime. They also do not consider important elements, such as your age at the of the felony charge. 


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