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Legalities: Refusing to Hire a Candidate Due to Criminal Record

Imagine you’ve found a great candidate and are excited about offering them a job. Then, their background check comes back and indicates they have a criminal record. What do you do? Do you hire them despite this information and hope for the best? Is it even legal to refuse to hire a candidate due to a criminal record? Keep reading to find out.  


Refusing to Hire Candidates With Criminal Records is Legal 

Most states give public and private employers the right to disqualify candidates with criminal records. This holds true despite how serious their offenses are or when they occurred. Therefore, you don’t have to hire someone with a criminal record regardless of their work history qualifications or personal circumstances. That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. 


Should You Hire Candidates With Criminal Records? 

The question is whether you should hire candidates that have a criminal past. There is no clear-cut answer to this question as it really depends. But, the always constant recommendation is to perform an individualized assessment before ruling out a candidate simply based on having a criminal recordThe job in question as well as its relatedness to the crime committed, along with the type of criminal offense a candidate had and how long ago they happened can help you make a wise decision.  

Let’s say you’re hiring a preschool teacher for your daycare facility and learn a candidate has a criminal record that involves children. In this case, hiring them is likely a significant safety risk and not a good idea.  

On the other hand, pretend you’re hiring a skilled laborer and find out they have had a DUI in the past. If they currently have a license, you should likely still consider extending them an offer as it may not affect the job. You may only be concerned about multiple offenses or offenses related to violence.  


Discuss Criminal Records With Candidates 

Once a background check reveals a candidate has a criminal record, speak to the candidate directly. By giving them the chance to explain themselves, you may gain more clarity and make a smarter hiring decision. Additionally, the EEOC Guidance from 2012 strongly recommends performing these individualized assessments as do some recent state and local ban the box laws.  


Contact Chane Solutions Today!

For more information on hiring candidates with criminal records , contact Chane Solutions, a quality employment screening and drug testing provider today.   






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