Hire a Felon? Considerations for Employers – Part One

Colorado Society for Human Resource Management Publishes Guidelines

NOTE:  The COSHRM has made available an 8-page booklet titled “Interviewing & Hiring Applicants with a Criminal Record”.  Following is the first installment of extracts from that publication.

HIRING FELONSFrom Section 1: “Recommended Interviewing & Hiring Practices”

“As a best practice, employers should develop a written policy to guide their

hiring practices for applicants with a criminal record. The policy should identify the positions that require a background report and, when applicable, justification for such (such as statutory licensing, regulatory). Depending upon the employer, the policy may need to list the specific criminal offenses that demonstrate a relationship or unfitness for such positions as well as the length of time for which an exclusion would apply.

In addition, hiring officials should be trained on how to implement the policy consistent with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and to keep all information about criminal records confidential.

In the event an applicant has a criminal history and there is no statutory, licensing, or regulatory justification for excluding the applicant from the labor pool, employers should follow a two-step process to screen the applicant.

Step one is to consider the nature of the crime, the time elapsed, and the nature of the job.

Step two is to individually assess the applicant in order to ensure the applicant has not mistakenly screened out due to incomplete or inaccurate information.

The two-step process allows an employer to determine in an informed manner the relevance of the applicant’s history to the job and helps employers make hiring decisions for eligible applicants with a criminal history on a case-by-case basis.”

Visit the COSHRM Web Site to request copies of this publication

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