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What is your company's policy on hiring new employees with criminal backgrounds?

Carrie Scott's Profile


Sara Voight
Title: Controller
Company: Critical Signal Technologies, Inc
(Controller, Critical Signal Technologies, Inc) |

We work with several government agencies and are barred from most contracts if we have anyone on payroll with a record. This covers anyone visiting homes, monitoring patients in our call center, and the cleaning crew at our main office.

Your decision should be based upon the risk to the company as well as to the individual employees (would a receptionist feel comfortable knowing the data entry clerk down the hall had a rap sheet for home invasion, or child abuse?).

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |


I work in government and, we have no policy barring hires with a criminal background.

Sara Voight
Title: Controller
Company: Critical Signal Technologies, Inc
(Controller, Critical Signal Technologies, Inc) |

We deal with the public and seniors in particular. Medicare/Medicaid is very specific about the people who will interact with these folks, answer their calls, or manage their private financial information. I have a state audit starting tomorrow where I had to certify that I employed no felons or individuals with pending criminal cases.

Jerry Goldberg
Title: Principal
Company: Strategic Capital Corp
(Principal, Strategic Capital Corp) |

I always advise clients and my own firms to be very careful of hiring employees with convictions. Besides the obvious issue of trust, potential for additional criminal acts, etc., you face liability from your current employees if something should occur that injures an employee or a theft occurs and you knew the perpetrator was a convicted felon. The one exception can be if you can determine the nature of the conviction and are comfortable it was non-violent and there were perhaps extenuating circumstances...but be careful.

Topic Expert
Malak Kazan
Title: VP, Special Projects
Company: ERI Economic Research Institute
(VP, Special Projects, ERI Economic Research Institute) |

Generally no hires with felony convictions. In the case of a misdemeanor, if it was from a long time ago (10 yrs +) and not habitual / high frequency, then ok. The nature of the crime and relative risk it poses to the business need to be assessed. As Sara mentioned depending on the type of business requirements you have, you may not have a choice/subjectivity in how you interpret criminal background check results.

Dan Ginn
Title: Human Resources Manager
Company: Italfoods, Inc.
(Human Resources Manager, Italfoods, Inc.) |

We have a moral if not a legal obligation to protect our employees by providing a safe working environment. While we have hired people with a conviction record, it is important to distinguish convictions that involve violence and those that are non-violent. Even if the conviction is a misdemeanor you should bear in mind that it might have been plea-bargained down from a felony. Be cautious.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

These are an interesting set of answers.

So, based on these answers (sans one), it makes it almost a sure bet that those convicted of a crime need (not want), but need to turn to recidivism in order to just to live.


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