man behind bars

Employment Repercussions: How an Arrest Can Affect Your Career

When one gets arrested, many worries will cloud your mind. You will worry about your family’s needs, who will take care of your pets, your house, and other obligation. But one thing most people would worry about is their careers.

When you are in jail, you will have a difficult time managing your finances. It can take months before your trial. This stops you from going to work and explain your situation to your employer.

Your best option is to bail out with the help of a bondsman. There are bail bond companies willing to assist you and prepare all you need to bail out of prison. The earlier you get out of jail, the better.

How the Arrest Can Influence Your Career

If you were arrested and you failed to bail out of jail, you won’t be able to keep your job. Employers can fire employees with impending charges provided they are at-will employees. Your company may also use your absences as grounds for termination.

The best way to manage such a situation is to let your employer know about your arrest and tell your side of the story. If you have a good relationship with your employer and colleagues, then you will find it easier to negotiate your employment. But before you do, ask legal counsel for advice.

The arrest, even if you are still waiting for trial, can also influence your ability to get a job. Many companies run criminal background checks for safety purposes. They want to make sure the people they are hiring won’t pose a threat to the company.

people during an interview

The Problem With Background Checks

Hiring companies have the right to check on their applicant’s backgrounds. The problem is, simply having a history of the arrest does not necessarily mean the candidate is already proven guilty.  There are also chances that their arrest won’t influence their ability to get the job done.

There are times when reports are mismatched. The record may have records that make the candidate look bad. But in reality, these records are for another person, preferably one with the same name or looks.

There are criminal records that misclassify committed offenses. There are also times when the records are incomplete, misleading, or removed completely. These can cause confusion and cause the employer to reject the applicant.

Many states already created rules that limit a company’s ability to check criminal history. As a general rule, one may only ask about the criminal history until later in the recruitment process. If you are still applying for a position, they may only check your criminal background after the interview.

Know that under federal law, your employer or the company you are applying to will need to send an adverse action letter. This letter will be delivered electronically or in hard copy. It will state that the reason why they won’t be hiring you is due to the results of the background check.

If you think the data shown in your records are negatively influencing your ability to get a job, then you have the right to have these corrected. Ask the right agency to recheck and update your records for you. Once settled, you can then consider reapplying.

Note that if they fail to correct the inaccurate report, you can report this to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). You also have the option to file a lawsuit.

Increasing Your Chances of Getting Hired

There are many people with criminal records who are now successful in their chosen careers. If you are having a hard time getting a job even if you only had an arrest in the past, there are still things you can do to increase your chances of employment.

  • Learn New Skills

These days, anyone can add skills to their bank without leaving their home. There are tons of online resources offering free courses and training. If you have the money to pay for paid courses, then you can access more in-depth knowledge that can help you land a better job.

  • Volunteer

Volunteering helps boost your career as it allows you to explore new roles, grow your network, and learn transferable work skills. You can showcase your knowledge and put your skills to work and earn a recommendation letter from charities and nonprofit organizations. This helps present yourself as an attractive applicant for more recruiters.

  • Freelance or Start a Business

When all else fails, you can start your own business or freelance instead. This way, you can be your own boss and no one will dig up your past.

Even a simple arrest can already impact your life in many ways. The best way to avoid this is to know your rights, always practice integrity, and know who you need to call in desperate times. Simple research can help you learn so many things and can even keep you out of trouble and out of jail.

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