Misdemeanors That Prevent Employment – Surprising Offenses That Employers Won't Overlook

Rodemer Kane Attorneys at Law

Will a misdemeanor affect employment?

Getting a job with a misdemeanor on your record is usually not an issue, but certain offenses might make it challenging to land specific types of employment.

For example:

  • Committing theft, fraud, or dishonesty as a misdemeanor may make it hard to get a banking position.
  • Having a misdemeanor drug offense could negatively affect your chances of landing a nursing job or a position in the medical field.

Keep in mind that a misdemeanor conviction could stay on your criminal record for your entire life. This means that when employers conduct a background check, they are likely to discover your past crime.

In most states, however, you have the option to try and clear your record in one of two ways:

  1. Applying for an expungement
  2. Seeking a record seal

Both processes typically involve the court removing an arrest or conviction from your criminal history.

Can You Get a Job with a Misdemeanor?

Yes, it is possible to get a job even with a misdemeanor on your criminal record. There are no federal or state laws preventing individuals with a criminal history, including misdemeanors, from finding employment.

Securing employment with a misdemeanor may have its hurdles, but it is not an insurmountable barrier. Understanding industry-specific considerations and being aware of potential challenges can help individuals navigate the job market effectively.

Having a misdemeanor might pose challenges during the job application process. Some employers may hesitate or decline to hire individuals with certain types of misdemeanor convictions.

Misdemeanor drug offenses can complicate job searches in the medical field, while misdemeanor charges related to domestic violence may impact career prospects in counseling or law enforcement.

In addition, both Uber and Lyft disqualify applicants with a recent DUI conviction when applying for rideshare driver positions.

As a result of some misdemeanor crimes, offenders often find it more difficult than people with no prior misdemeanor conviction obtaining steady employment, but that’s not all. Individuals with a misdemeanor may face difficulties securing safe and stable housing. And getting a loan or managing debt can be challenging for those with a misdemeanor on their record.

While misdemeanor convictions can present job search difficulties, they are generally less severe than the challenges faced by individuals with felony convictions.

Is It Considered Employment Discrimination if a Person Is Not Hired Due to a Misdemeanor?

In many states, employment laws state that only those who belong to a protected class can file an employment discrimination case. Protected classes include things like:

  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Race
  • National origin

Unfortunately, having a past criminal record, like a misdemeanor, usually doesn't automatically make you part of a protected class. This means that if you're denied a job because of a past misdemeanor, you might not be able to file a civil rights lawsuit.

However, some states have what they call "Ban the Box" laws. These laws are there to help. They generally stop private employers from:

  • Making applicants share their criminal history on the first job application
  • Asking about an applicant’s criminal history right away
  • If an employer breaks these laws, and you lose a job because of it, you might have a legal case

How Long Does a Misdemeanor Stay on Your Record?

In many states, a misdemeanor conviction has lingering consequences that can stick with you for life, unless you take steps to remove it.

A misdemeanor can affect your chances of landing a job, even if the conviction happened years ago. Potential employers often conduct criminal background checks, which may reveal your misdemeanor charge.

Your criminal history might influence whether you get hired or not, making it crucial to address any past misdemeanors. To improve your chances, consider getting your misdemeanor expunged or sealed, as taking this action can have positive effects on your future employment opportunities.

Understanding the lasting impact of a misdemeanor on your record is essential. Taking proactive steps, such as expungement or sealing, can help you navigate potential challenges when seeking employment.

Can Expungement or Record Seal Help Clear Your Record?

Yes, it certainly can!

Expungement and record seals are legal processes that can significantly impact your criminal record.

In simple terms, expungement means a court orders the removal of a conviction from your criminal record. It goes beyond just hiding the conviction—it's like wiping it off the record entirely.

In some states, they offer record seals instead of expungements. The key difference is that a sealed record isn't completely destroyed; it's securely tucked away.

Whether through expungement or sealing, the crucial outcome is that your past conviction becomes confidential. This confidentiality extends to job applications and interviews, where you're not obligated to disclose a conviction that has been expunged or sealed.

By understanding these legal processes, you gain insight into how they can positively impact your future opportunities without the weight of a past conviction.

Will Having References Help?

When it comes to job applications, references can play a crucial role in influencing hiring decisions.

Employers sometimes view a previous conviction as a negative aspect of one's personality. For them, individuals with arrest records may appear as potential issues, raising concerns about their suitability as reliable employees.

To challenge and dispel this misconception, incorporating personal references into your application can be a valuable strategy. A personal reference serves as a testimony to your positive character. Moreover, it can shed light on the fact that you have successfully rehabilitated yourself from a past mistake.

References are an essential tool during the job application process, helping to showcase your character and rehabilitation efforts, ultimately contributing to a more accurate evaluation of your potential as an employee.

While a misdemeanor on your record can pose certain challenges when seeking employment, it is not an insurmountable obstacle. Understanding the specific hurdles and potential solutions is crucial in navigating the job market effectively. Legal representation can be immensely beneficial in such cases. A lawyer can guide you through the process of expungement or record sealing, which can significantly improve your chances of securing employment.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Rodemer Kane Attorneys at Law | Attorney Advertising

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Rodemer Kane Attorneys at Law

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