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Felony conviction question on application?

  • 1.  Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 10-31-2022 15:10
    Good afternoon, All! Just wondering if any other staffing firms out there are re-introducing the "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" question on their applications? We specialize in light industrial and manufacturing placements, so we discontinued the question on our app a few years ago - I just wonder if anyone else is reconsidering asking this question of their applicants. Thank you!

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    Leighanna Taylor CSP
    Principal
    Foothills Temporary Employment
    Hudson NC
    (828) 728-0040
    ltaylor@foothillsemployment.com
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    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 2.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 10-31-2022 15:21

    We recently removed it from all applications due to the passage of the Ban the Box legislator in several states. Even though that manly pertains to federal / state contract employees we were advised to discontinue that line of questioning on all applicants.  We are a per diem and travel Healthcare provider staffing company.

     

     

     

     

     

    Angela Totora, MBA/HA, CHP, RN
    Director of Nursing
    t: 504-883-8711  | 
     f: 504-883-8737
    e: angela@ampstaffing.com
    website: www.advantagemedicalprofessionals.com   



    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 3.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 11-01-2022 11:06
    We also removed it with Ban the Box legislation. We tend to go with the "best practice" nationwide even though we are only in two states.

    ------------------------------
    Jamie Stafford CSP
    Risk Manager
    Key Staffing
    Topeka KS
    (785) 272-9999
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    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 4.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 11-02-2022 08:24
    Thank you for your help, Jamie! I appreciate your idea of following the 'best practice'.. Leighanna

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    Leighanna Taylor CSP
    Principal
    Foothills Temporary Employment
    Hudson NC
    (828) 728-0040
    ltaylor@foothillsemployment.com
    ------------------------------

    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 5.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 11-02-2022 08:23
    Thank you, Angela for your response! I appreciate your input! Leighanna

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    Leighanna Taylor CSP
    Principal
    Foothills Temporary Employment
    Hudson NC
    (828) 728-0040
    ltaylor@foothillsemployment.com
    ------------------------------

    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 6.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 11-01-2022 10:16
    Good Morning:

    Yes we are still asking :Have you ever been convicted of a felony".  Even though many of our employers are second chance employers they still want to know what the conviction are.  Also they want to see if the associate has conviction patterns.

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    Donald Dupree
    Senior Recruiter
    Liberty Labor LLC
    Warrensville Hts. OH
    216-701-0796
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    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 7.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 11-02-2022 08:21
    Good morning, Donald, and thank you for your response. May I ask if you are asking the question on the application and before the interview with your Job Placement Specialist? or are you asking it after the interview but before you actually run the background? Thank you again for your help! Leighanna

    ------------------------------
    Leighanna Taylor CSP
    Principal
    Foothills Temporary Employment
    Hudson NC
    (828) 728-0040
    ltaylor@foothillsemployment.com
    ------------------------------

    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 8.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 11-01-2022 11:23

    Hello Leighanna - 

    The trend in legislation and litigation is to avoid blanket exclusions, and that each person is individually assessed for the position.  Generally, asking about past convictions is on opportunity to inadvertently attract lawsuits - or in certain locations can violate restrictions on asking about prior criminal convictions before an interview or decision.    I think what you want to find out is if an applicant qualifies for certain positions.  The best way to do that is to include the qualifications in the job descriptions, ensuring that they qualification is appropriate for the position, including what is acceptable on a background and what is not.  People get into trouble with blanket statements and conviction exclusions - and asking about prior convictions can be perceived as exclusionary, even if the position will accept previous felons without an individual assessment.  This also allows you to ask the candidate in an interview if they fully qualify for the position, and to provide explanations about any area that they may not qualify. 

    We also find it important to understand what the hiring matrix that our clients use to determine who would qualify in this area.  We challenge our clients who want to use general policies like "no convictions" to determine the way that restriction is job related.  We encourage our clients to have a more concrete hiring decision matrix that can be applied.  We would not ask about previous convictions because it may cause some candidates to abandon the application, and we want to meet interested candidates and determine which client provides the best fit for the applicant.   Many clients are open to employees with a past, and we like to review previous conviction considering length of time since the conviction, number of convictions, and nature of the conviction.



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    John McLaughlin
    President
    HireCall
    Tulsa OK
    (918) 933-5555
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    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 9.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 11-02-2022 08:28
    Thank you, John - I appreciate the very comprehensive answer! I agree with your idea of the individual assessment of the applicant/position dynamic. I also find our client companies are tolerant of previous convictions as long as we are aware of the convictions going into the employer/employee relationship. Thank you again for your ideas! Leighanna

    ------------------------------
    Leighanna Taylor CSP
    Principal
    Foothills Temporary Employment
    Hudson NC
    (828) 728-0040
    ltaylor@foothillsemployment.com
    ------------------------------

    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 10.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 11-01-2022 13:06
    I'm with @John McLaughlin on this about getting the background matrix from clients. Being in GA & SC, we have no laws yet about this but stopped asking before they are hired. Once we make the decision to hire the candidate, we then ask about the criminal history. At that point, we're honest about us trying to match them up with employers we know can work with their history. Being in industrial labor, and in this job market, it's just part of the placement process now. ​

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    Robert Kelly, TSC, CSP, CWCP
    Vice President
    Augusta Staffing Associates
    Martinez GA
    (706) 860-4820
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    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 11.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 11-02-2022 08:33
    Thank you, Robert, for your input. I am finding that many staffing agencies, no matter what state they operate in, are utilizing this practice of not using a blanket decision for questioning applicants backgrounds, but are tailoring the questioning to match the client companies appetite AND stay within what we consider 'best practices'. Thanks again! Leighanna

    ------------------------------
    Leighanna Taylor CSP
    Principal
    Foothills Temporary Employment
    Hudson NC
    (828) 728-0040
    ltaylor@foothillsemployment.com
    ------------------------------

    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 12.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 11-02-2022 08:27
    Given the various legislation that has been directed towards this, along with other changes dealing with questions for applicants that have been mandated, it's a good idea to discuss this with your legal counsel. Once the background check has been obtained, that information will become known.

    As we all know, the primary reason we have asked this question is not to determine whether the applicant has, in fact, been found guilty of a felony, but rather, to provide for a route to terminate an individual for failing to answer the question honestly. 

    The risks associated with asking the question, I believe, are reason enough to remove the question from your application.

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    Jay Mattern
    CEO
    TerraFirma Marketing
    South Bend IN
    (574) 213-3855
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    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 13.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 11-02-2022 08:35
    Thank you, Jay, for your response. Have you completely removed the question from your application process or from your application form? I have spoken with a few staffing firms who have moved the question from the application to a completely different form to be completed AFTER the initial interview. Your take on this would be very helpful..  Thanks again! Leighanna

    ------------------------------
    Leighanna Taylor CSP
    Principal
    Foothills Temporary Employment
    Hudson NC
    (828) 728-0040
    ltaylor@foothillsemployment.com
    ------------------------------

    Avionte Ad 1.26.23


  • 14.  RE: Felony conviction question on application?

    Posted 11-02-2022 12:44
    Hi Leighanna,
    There are so many Fed, State and Local rules and regulations re: these topics (ie: Philadelphia has not allowed this question for years) - that's why Employment Practices Liability coverage (HR Liability) can be so critical to address allegations of discrimination in hiring.  If you have this coverage ensure that it will address claims from NON employees (ie: applicants, etc).  If you don't have this coverage, it's worth considering.  Many carriers also provide free legal support which can also help your team!

    GREAT QUESTION!

    Shannon Tornoe
    Principal
    Coast to Coast Insurance Brokers
    484-680-6377 cell
    stornoe@CCIBinsurance.com

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    Shannon Tornoe
    President
    Coast to Coast Insurance Brokers
    Wayne PA
    (610) 225-0553 x101
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    Avionte Ad 1.26.23