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Professional consequences of a criminal conviction

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | General Blogs

Perhaps you’ve got a job interview lined up at a Minnesota company you’ve been hoping to work with for a long time. You’ve even purchased a new outfit for the meeting. You know you have both the skills and experience to do the job and believe you’re a good fit for the company. There’s one issue causing you to worry — the criminal conviction on your record.

Whether it’s a DUI or other offense, you’re hoping that it will not have negative implications on your ability to obtain gainful employment. In fact, a criminal conviction can have professional consequences. However, there are laws and guidelines to ensure fair treatment of prospective employees.

Examples of how a criminal conviction can impede employability

The following list shows several issues that may affect your ability to get a job if you have a criminal conviction on your record:

  • You are applying for a commercial driving job and have a DUI conviction.
  • The job involves working with children.
  • The court suspended your professional license because of a criminal conviction.
  • It is a federal job with requirements that include a clear background check.

These are legitimate issues that may affect your hiring chances if a prospective employer conducts a background check and discovers that you have one or more criminal convictions on record.

Employers must comply with state and federal laws

If a prospective employer intends to check your criminal record, he or she must inform you ahead of time. The employer may ask you to sign a consent form. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advises employers to refrain from denying employment to an interviewee based solely on a criminal conviction that appears on record during a background check. In some cases, it may be acceptable, such as the issues mentioned earlier in this post regarding a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or working with children.

If an employer chooses to not hire you because of a past criminal conviction, he or she must comply with the adverse action process required under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Every prospective employee has a right to fair treatment. Your criminal record does not necessarily prevent you from getting a job, although it may have implications in some cases. If you believe you have faced discrimination based on your criminal background check, you may have grounds for filing a complaint.

Keeping your criminal record clear

Having a clear criminal record is the easiest way to avoid negative issues during the hiring process. If you’re facing criminal charges in Minnesota, it’s best to seek legal support because this is often the key to being able to mitigate your circumstances. If the court has convicted you of a crime, you may want to research whether you qualify for expungement, which means the conviction would not appear on your record.