Moving Forward After a Criminal Conviction
Any history with the criminal justice system can create lingering and significant barriers to employment and education.
The LAW Project of Los Angeles provides no-cost, high quality, legal services
to workers who:
1) Have prior involvement with the criminal justice system and
2) Are seeking to address their past in an effort to move forward with their lives.
Know Your Rights
You must know your rights when you are applying for work with a criminal record.
When you work or apply at a company that is going to run a background check on you, there are rules for both the employer and the background checking company. You have rights and protections under both the federal and California law. When these rules are violated, you can make a claim for monetary damages. You must always request a copy of the background check report to ensure that the report is accurate and that your rights are not being violated. Go to our FCRA violations page for more information.
Unfair Employment Practices
Some job applicants are told that they must “pass” a background check for a job. Others are told that an employer won’t hire any applicant who has a felony on their record. Employers cannot make blanket “no felony” rules in their hiring policies. There is no such thing as a “passing” grade on a background check. Many types of employers run the risk of engaging in unfair employment practices that could violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act when they refuse to hire someone with a criminal record.
Go to our EEOC/Title VII page for more information.