bigdogpile, hmmm, yep, you sound like one. So let me enlighten and set you straight sonny boy. In 1992 I was convicted of a Class 5 Federal Felony, for which I spent 6 mos. in jail, and 4.5 yrs on supervised release, that's right I had to check in with a probation officer AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH, sometimes once a week if her hubby wasn't giving her any and she was moody. Go ahead and lie on an application, and it goes in the circular file. All of my employers have known since day 1 what my background is, guess what, that made it so much easier for them to decide to hire me. Also, if a job application asks if you have EVER been convicted of a felony, and you fail to disclose it, it is considered perjury, guess what, an application for employment is technically a legal document, and while you are not under oath, you are swearing that the information is true and correct to the best of your knowledge. If they want to know, it's very easy for them to find out. I will guarantee, your employers truck insurance carrier knows more about your background than your own mother does and they didn't ask you, they researched it. Hell, for $39.95, with just your name and home state I can find out everything about you, from your MVR to your credit report, CLUE report, and your blood type, with a little digging even your pants size, shoe size, and preferred color of underwear. If you don't think this crap is important to an employer, think again. We hired 3 drivers 3 weeks ago, this morning they fired one on the spot, seems he lied on his application about why he left his last job, he said the company laid him off, no, he was fired for lying about damaging customer property. We had to submit a written request to them for his employment history and just got it back yesterday. He was fired before he even clocked in this morning.
Advice for felons seeking employment!!!
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Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
I'm the original OP, I'm not a boy, and the story I wrote was not about myself. The felon in that story was completely fictional.
People with felonies who are trying to re-enter the work force just happens to be a topic that is dear to my heart. I have spent the past year mentoring new hires (most of whom have felonies on their records) for my employer.
I agree with you that nobody should have to work for free. Unfortunately being underpaid, or not paid at all, is a daily reality for ex-offenders. There are a few companies who are known for giving "second chances" to ex-offenders, and those who do are equally known for their ill treatment of employees and shady employment practices.
Companies know they can "ripoff" ex-offenders because they know ex-offenders have so few employment options.That's why removing barriers to employment for ex-offenders is so important!
If a felon has an equal chance at any job for which they are qualified, they won't be concentrated at the "bad" companies and the"bad" companies won't have an endless pool of low-wage or under-paid workers who are only there because they can't get a job somewhere else due to their felonies.
"Bad" companies will have to start treating their employees better (or risk having no employees), and the increased competition at "good" companies will raise wages.
I commend the FedEx driver who overcame 8 years of incarceration and went to work as an Independent Contractor for FedEx Custom Critical! Way to go!!!! That's awesome!
I'm familiar with FedEx and their stringent hiring practices. and working for them is an honor! FedEx is also one of the better paying employers for felons and non-felons, alike! That FedEx driver is proof of what former felons are capable of achieving when given a chance! I thank him for sharing his story!
Bigdogpile, I ask that you not suggest that felons lie on their applications. People with felony records are often faced with long job searches and loads of rejection. They usually have more than a family to feed... they are saddled in debt (back child support, ect), living in unstable housing (couch surfing or half-way houses), and their conditions of parole often demand they find a job within x-months or be returned to prison.
Add to that the sheer pressure of a family who is hoping for the best, but braced for the worst; the loss of all your friends (because you can't go back to your old neighborhood if you really want to change yourself}; increased "stop and frisks" by police who keep seeing you roaming the neighborhoods (even though you are looking for work); the hard-nosed parole officer who sees all the "stop and frisks" and thinks you are casing small businesses....
In other words, people with felonies tend to get desperate due to their circumstances, and that desperation can cause them to try anything suggested if they think it will land them a job. Bigdogpile, your suggestion that ex-offenders lie about their background on job applications is criminal. You know, if you have really been a trucker for ??? years you claim, that the lie will be discovered and the felon fired instantly (and probably never get another job, driving or otherwise) as a result.
I beg anyone with a felony record NOT to lie on their application!!! There are honest ways to address your background that may even set you apart as the better applicant during the interview! YES! The BETTER applicant BECAUSE you have a FELONY RECORD!
How does your incarceration, and subsequent felony record, make you the better applicant? Because you have a proven tract record for enduring extreme stress, living in confined spaces, dealing with all sorts of people (a guy being a jerk at a loading dock is nothing compared to a guy who wants to shank you because he thinks you didn't "respect" him).
You've learned a life of conformity while in prison, you respect the rules, even if you don't agree with them... you value freedom... you understand hard work and the need for clear, concise communication... you are not a whiner... you don't challenge authority...
As an ex-offender, you bring proven attributes to the table that a whiny, snot faced college kid who has never held a "real" job cannot. And, these attributes are the attributes that hiring managers value!
No hiring manager wants to hire the whiny guy whose hand he may have to hold for the next six months. They want to hire the competent, capable guy who they can trust to get the job done. What more proof do they need than the person you present? Your background is a living testament to your capability and endurance!
The trick is not to dwell on your past... don't grovel about it or address it at length in an interview. You take the negative, the fact you've been to prison, and turn it into a positive by presenting all the ways it has made you the more competent and responsible hire... Use your prison experience to show case your respect for the law and conformity to the rules, for example...
Again, I recommend the book Jail to Jobs by Eric Mayo. The book provides practice scripts and addresses topics I have not covered, such as how to list time spent in prison on the Residential History portion of the application.
This thread got really heated, really fast. I don't want to fan the flames. However, I do want to ask Bigdogpile why he is so threatened by felons in the workplace? I understand there are some members of TTR report who have, for instance, been the victims of violent crime and therefore have reason to be a bit hostile about the topic. But, from what I've read, Bigdogpile does not fall into the "crime victims" classification.
Bigdog, if you are as competent and successful as you present yourself, and don't have personal cause to dislike felons (such as being a crime victim), then why are you so hostile towards ex-offenders? Why would you knowingly give out bad advice and tell people to lie when you know it will get them fired? Are you really that insecure about your own job or capabilities that you feel threatened by a convicted felon competing EQUALLY for your job??
I care deeply about the topic of ex-offenders and removing barriers to their employment. And, the TTR is a reputable forum. People come here seeking advise from experienced professionals in the industry.
Please refrain from hijacking my thread with childish antics and games that distract from the topic I raised. And, don't diminish this conversation with wild accusations, bad advise, or by degrading people and their companies. Comments such as those you have made are personally offensive and make the whole industry look bad.
I would like to provide a full response to your post, but I wasn't going to quote it because the would simple eat up too much space, so here goes:
1. Thank you for your work in attempting to help people with criminal pasts try to move past them and join (or rejoin, as the case may be) productive society. Far too many people refuse to offer second chances. I will admit to being one of those people, but that is due to having been "burned" too often in the past by recidivists. It doesn't take long to develop an attitude against all ex-cons due to the actions of a few. It isn't fair to the rest, but the risks have far outweighed the benefits for me.
2. One of the best directions you could move in (in my opinion, at least. Which is worth approximately a five gallon bucket of farts) is to work to change both society and the corrections system to the view of actual rehabilitation rather than simple incarceration. Many, many studies have shown that crime has a root cause in poverty, and poverty has a root cause in the lack of opportunities. Whether these opportunities come from lack of education (fixable), employment sources (somewhat fixable), or lack of ambition (not fixable), I feel that we as a society should not 'give up' on all of those who have made mistakes in the past.
There are some crimes that I think should have to undergo a strict rehabilitation program and encounter a serious degree of difficulty before being offered a chance in the trucking industry. DUI's, drug charges, and similar don't belong here. The chances of repeat occurrences are too great. That said, we do have some drivers here, and I have known some drivers personally who have walked completely away from their addictions and become some of the safest drivers I know. But we far too often see the results of offering others the same chance without having to work for it. Recently in Oregon comes to mind.
Additionally, I do not believe that the costs of education for these people should be born on the backs of the taxpayers. Have them take out student loans like the rest of us, and pay back the costs of their education from the results of their honest work. If people have to work to get something, they will generally respect it much better over having it handed to them. But I also believe that those incarcerated should be put to work to pay for the costs of their incarceration, rather than living off my wallet and paycheck.
3. Yes, there are companies that take deliberate advantage of former convicts. But the activities of those companies is blatantly illegal. One thought would be to set up a means of communication between yourself or office and those people you have placed in these companies, so your people have someone they can report these activities to. You could then work with the appropriate state agencies to have these illegal activities brought to an end. Yes, this may end in the company in question may end up shutting down and placing your guys out of work. But that is the unfortunate price that must be paid at times to get illegal companies off the road.
I want to emphasize that barriers to employment for ex-offenders hurt everybody in the industry! Just like illegal immigration lowers wages because it creates an endless supply of people willing to do the work for less, barriers to employment for ex-offenders lowers wages by (again) creating an endless pool of people willing to do the work for less!
Removing the barriers to employment for ex-offenders and allowing them to compete EQUALLY for jobs creates a larger, and stronger, pool of candidates, which increases competition, which forces companies to pay more for top talent. Hiring ex-offenders eliminates the pool of cheap labor companies are currently utilizing and raises wages for everybody!
I was so distracted by the offensive comments Bigdogpile made in his posts, I lost tract of the main point of my response. I apologize for the confusing progression of my thoughts!
If BigDogPile bugs you that much, and I can certainly see how he could, put him on your ignore list. That way you won't get exposed to his ignorance.
The only reason I haven't done it is because occasionally I find that poking holes in his idiocy is a great source of stress relief.....plus its fun to watch him scream and pout when someone else proves him wrong....
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