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Job market may still be tough for ex-offenders

Hiring for the upcoming holiday shopping season has begun in earnest. While actual numbers likely won’t be available for a month or so, it is possible for hundreds of thousands of temporary employees to be hired in the last months of 2016.

For the most part, retailers will have many candidates to choose from. Even though the economy has improved and unemployment has dropped compared to last year, there are still those who will find it difficult to gain employment.

Those with criminal records. 

These applicants have arguably the toughest road to travel because of the public stigma attached to offenders (or ex-cons depending on your generation). While it is important for employers to screen applicants for ward off potential bad hires, there are still smart, hardworking candidates who would make good employees but for their criminal pasts. As we have noted in a prior post, trying to navigate the system without the benefit of an expungement is like trying to navigate an ocean without a compass…or sails…or even an engine.  

In spite of these difficulties (or maybe because of them) public sentiment is changing regard to those convicted of certain crimes (i.e. low level drug possession offenders). In fact, some employers strive to make at least make a “cursory, good faith” determination as to whether a criminal record actually should disqualify the applicant. In fact the EEOC recommended that employers should refrain from asking about convictions on job applications unless it is specifically relevant to performing the basic functions of the job.

Nevertheless, the consideration of criminal records still happens; which is why it is critically important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are charged with a crime.

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