Background Check and Convictions

Before you start your job search, know which work restrictions and regulations can keep a person with a conviction from working in certain jobs.

This is a small list of jobs compared to the many types of careers available to you.

There are some jobs not open to someone with a criminal conviction. The exact occupations and the type of restrictions depend on your offense and various state and federal regulations.

Before you start training or searching for employment, find out what, if any, restrictions you might have for work.

Resource to find Collatarel Consequences: search and view details of policies relating to collateral consequences of a criminal conviction. 

Applications

For many positions, not only do you have to submit a resume and cover letter, but you also need to fill out a formal application. Many applications ask at least one of the following questions:

  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime or a felony?

It is best to be honest when answering these particular questions, although applicants are not obligated to disclose sealed or expunged records of conviction or arrest.

Most companies will process a background check before offering a position, or a position could be contingent upon the background check.

If you know that the company is going to do a background check, it is very important that you are honest on your application. If any stage of the process reveals that you have been dishonest in any way, this will affect your chances of employment.

Pay attention to the way that the question is asked and only answer the question that is being asked of you (i.e. there is a difference between being convicted of a crime and being convicted of a felony).

What are my rights?

Resources: 


THRIVE Technical Assistance Program
Careers and Criminal Justice-Affected People in New York

Post-Criminal Justice Involvement Services Individuals who have been engaged with the criminal justice system can access tailored services at the Bronx and Brooklyn Workforce1 Career Centers.

Getting the Record Straight: A Guide to Navigating Background Checks
Resource from John Jay College Institute for Justice & Opportuntiy 

Resource for Employers, Faculty & Staff
Words Matter