Many employers do background checks on potential employees, and not just to find out about work ethics and qualifications. They do criminal background checks, which sometimes are illegal to do. Most states allow potential employers to ask “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” The problem I have with that question is the word “ever”. If this was limited by a time period, such as 7 years or 10 years or whatever, I would have less problems with it.
The truth is, your criminal background should not matter in consideration for employment. The only thing that should matter is your current work ethic.
Now, I understand that there are certain situations where someone’s criminal background may disqualify them from a certain position they may other wise qualify for, such as a sex-offender teaching children. But even they should be able to qualify for something, otherwise, you are giving them an outlet to continue in their previous paths.
Also, sometimes, the label on a felony conviction can lead to a misunderstanding of what has happened. Indecency is exposure, it’s not sexual molestation, so if someone has been convicted of Indecency with a child, it could simply be an adult who believed in family nudity. I’m not saying that this is morally right, I’m simply pointing out that though often regarded as sexual by society and sometimes the legal authorities, there is a difference between indecency and molestation.
In addition, not all convictions are legitimate. According to All Academic Research “In the last 16 years, there have been at least 500 exonerations of criminal defendants who had convicted of serious felonies in the United States” (Par. 1, sentence 2 under Abstract:)
The total person, not just the background, should be taken into consideration in employment applications. What is the persons work ethic? How are his or her references? If the person has committed a felony, how long ago was it?
Sometimes the question itself encourages lying. This is especially true if the applicant has told the truth on previous job applications.
A felony conviction, even if serious and legitimate, does not make one dishonest or unqualified to do a particular job. And if the job is online, there is very little risk, unless the felony itself involved deceit or dishonesty. Going skinny dipping or streaking near a school may get you a felony conviction. But to deny a person employment because of it is dishonest.
Some people with felony convictions have very good people on their reference list. Sometimes these people have police officers and preachers on their reference list. Honorable police officers and preachers.
But if you are a Christian, you should be even less concerned about a person’s criminal past than the rest of society. According to scripture (Romans 3:23 and James 2:10) you are just like the rest of us. You are a sinner, and that means you have transgressed the law, because according to 1st John 3:4 sin is transgression of the law.
After saying the model prayer, often known as the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 9:6-15) Jesus commented that “…if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Vs. 15 NIV).
There are many scriptures on forgiveness, and modern psychological definitions (including the “Christian” ones do not define it properly.
Some of us do not mind taking out the trash or washing windows or doing other menial chores if that is what our talents are. We don’t mind starting at entry level position’s when we are in our 50’s. We just want a fair and honest job, with opportunity when it is available. We are often told by those who teach us, not to let our past interfere with our progress. But how can we forget about our past if no one else will let us? Background is often irrelevant and used as an excuse to justify fear-mongering when considering employment applications.