If your business is like most, you include a routine background check as part of your application process. Conveniently,  soteriascreening.nationalcrimesearch.com offers criminal background checks. They have a partnership with National Crime Search which allows them to provide clients with several different types of searches. But, what do you do if the applicant you really liked and seemed to be a wonderful fit has a felony or other criminal record on his background check for employment?

Ask these questions before you just say No, unless that is your company policy. If it is, maybe it’s time to review the policy. Employers have limited rights regarding hiring practices when it comes to an applicant’s criminal record. The criminal offense must be related to the position they are applying for because they could be a liability in that position. For example, a convicted embezzler could be denied employment at a bank. So ask yourself these questions before you make your decision.

What Was the Felony Charge For?

Federal laws differ from state laws. Many cities, counties, towns, and areas handle some charges differently from others. Felonies punish with time served, yet you may see a felony on a criminal background check with only a large monetary punishment and no time served. It’s important to know if the offense was violent or non-violent. A background check should indicate if a non-violent offense with no jail time was settled for a large dollar amount and was supposed to be lowered to a misdemeanor or expunged. This felony shouldn’t cause any concerns.

When Was the Felony?

Most standard background checks run back between 7 and 10 years. Look at the infraction and the time when it was incurred. Teenagers do a lot of things they regret as adults. Again, consider whether the violation was violent or non-violent., but even violence does not have to be a deal-breaker. If the criminal background check reveals the arrest happened a long time ago, and the applicant has served time and been enrolled in anger management training, which was most likely a  part of the discharge, they have probably found better ways to deal with their anger.

Depending on the type of background check you get, you may not have access to how long the applicant has been out of prison. If not, and you like the candidate, his felony was non-violent and happened 10 years ago, call him back in and ask him. He knows it’s going to come up and will be happy you’re willing to discuss it instead of just saying he is not suitable for the job. 

Most recent parolees are just interested in rebuilding a life, especially if they have a family to return to. They have learned structure and how to get along with others in prison. They have also learned how to work independently and complete the task assigned. Studies have shown parolees are very loyal employees and have very little turnover. He will report to a parole officer and, if recently discharged, adhere to a curfew. 

Banning the Box

There is legislation in many states to remove the standard “felony” box on most applications. Some states will give employers tax cuts and incentives for hiring felons. Our experts at

Soteria Screening National Crime Search can help you with the background check for employment and other relevant information, so you can be sure you are getting the assistance you need.


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