Will My Misdemeanor Charge Affect My Employment?

According to the report by National Institute of Justice, 1/3 of all Americans who are under 23 years old have been arrested. Most have misdemeanor sentences on the criminal records. Such records can be detrimental to their employment prospects; however, they don’t need to be.

Although misdemeanor convictions aren’t as grave as felony convictions, a misdemeanor of the record can obstruct a person’s job search. Therefore, you should understand how to handle the situation properly in case it comes up, particularly when we talk about the background checks on the criminal records.

Possible employers have a lawful right to obtain those reports. These reports show a misdemeanor conviction or arrest, whether you reveal it voluntarily or not.

Acknowledging Your Right

You aren’t required to disclose arrests which did not result in a conviction or misdemeanors that were eliminated from your record.  What’s more, many state laws and federal laws put limits on how employers can employ criminal records to make employment decisions.

The Protection of Federal Laws

In case you didn’t know yet, 2 federal laws also offer protection to job hunters who have criminal records.

  1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

This law prohibits discrimination in employment. The law prohibits practices that screen out individuals disproportionately because of race, ethnicity, or other protected class.

Given that arrest amounts are greater for some classes, including African Americans and Latinos, an employer who has a blanket policy of discounting applicants who have criminal records can be found guilty of racial discrimination.

  1. Fair Credit Reporting Act

This law safeguards job applications for guaranteeing the exactness of criminal background checks. These checks can contain errors, such as incomplete information, that the charges were dropped, failing to indicate exoneration of crime, and an improper indication of convictions have been removed.

To safeguard job applicants, this law compels all employers who ask criminal background checks to:

  • Alert the applicant after the employer made the decision to not consider them for employment because of their background check.
  • Alert the applicant when the employer plans to screen with a background check.
  • Get a written consent of the job application before making a request for a background check.

Companies which collect background checks prior to employment should also make sure that this data is accurate and timely. When job applicants dispute the information, companies should investigate and report errors if any are found.

Is It Appropriate to Expose Your Misdemeanor?

You may wish to expose your misdemeanor record on your own. It is better than waiting to respond to a flagged background check. Although you have the privilege to not to tell a prospective employer of an arrest that didn’t result in a conviction or misdemeanor level charges, it might be better to be forthcoming anyway. Actually, exposing a misdemeanor might actually assist you in becoming employed because discussing your mistakes provides you an opportunity to explain and show your growth.

A true and straightforward approach also reveals that you to take accountability for all your actions. It also offers you an opportunity to explain how you have learned and matured from that experience. On the contrary, trying to conceal your misdemeanor record could do more damage to your work opportunities than the record itself.

Make sure to bear all this in mind when searching for employment after a misdemeanor conviction or arrest. Don’t forget to hire an experienced and reliable law firm if you need legal assistance or feel that you are being unjustifiably discriminated against.