Thursday, April 9, 2009
Hiring Convicted Felons
I know that there are businesses out there who wish to save money on their taxes. Why not hire a convicted felon? Though I do not know what the individual states guidelines are for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), Washington State has the following for convicted felons: A convicted felon who was released from prison within the past year or who is actively involved in a work release program. You can view all the details here for Washington State. If you live in any other state, sit down at a computer, if you are a felon that can still do that, go Google and type in the search box "tax credits for hiring felons in * state," where as the asterisk is what state you inquiring about.
I know that there are companies out there who even have a complete resource list for helping felons. One I have found to help is Hard2Hire, or H2H. H2H has a national listing of companies and other businesses who are willing to hire felons. Basically, they are an employment agency for those people with disabilities, ex-offenders, older workers and many others cannot find their way forward. They are a company who have their act together in helping those who have offended and attempting to get them back to work and re-enter society. Their target for 2009 is getting 1,000,000 Americans back to work in 2009. Now those Americans are those people with disabilities, ex-offenders, older workers and many others cannot find their way forward.
I find it difficult to believe that even though I am a combat vet, Operation Urgent Fury: October 25, 1983 to Decembed 15, 1983, people do not see that anymore when the issue with my crminal background comes up. People DO make mistakes, there is not one person out there who is perfect.
Who does hire convicted felons? I am not sure on that nore, but I do know who does not hire them. Most temp agencies, such as ManPower, Express Personnel and NW Staffing Services do not. I know of a "BlackList" among the temp agencies which exists. I know this thanks to an unnamed friend who used to work at Express Personnel. She worked for them since they started business. But when they implemented the policy to not hire convicted felons and maintain a list, she quit. She said that the list is then shared with other temp agencies who do not hire convicted felons. Thus the reasoning for her calling it "The Black List."
Let me give you an example of how many of us felons view working. I love to work and work hard. Perfect example of this is my last employment for 2008. I worked for an express freight company based out of Fife, Washington. Though my delivery area was primarily in Snohomish County, Washington, I did travel all around the Puget Sound, including the eastern area of the Olympic Penninsula. Between September 15, 2008 to October 10, 2008 there are 19 work days. Within that time I worked 264 hours! (Normal hours for this time frame would be closer to 120 hours.) How is that for a hard working convicted felon? Though me leaving that job had nothing to do with my conviction, that was just to show people out there that there are some of us willing to work hard to make it in society.
In closing, the convicted felon's best bet for finding employment, that I have found, is going through your local state employment office, LaborReady and go old fashioned hitting the pavement. Emailing and phone calls help, but unless that is the company's preferred method, it will earn you another negative mark in your work search.