Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Topic: Employment

Nothing is more important to a person than being able to support themselves and family, if any. Unless one is inherently RICH employment is the way. That is what this section is all about: EMPLOYMENT. Next, if you know of other information that can improve this section, PLEASE forward it to
The best advice we can provide folks is, never give up, somewhere out there is a employer willing to give you a second chance. Find them, it will not be an easy task, but in the long run knowing you bought the food on your table, is a rewarding feeling.

Employer Background Checks and the
Fair Credit Reporting Act FCRA:

In conjunction with a more competitive job market, employers have increasingly relied on pre-employment background checks to distinguish candidates. Occasionally companies obtain background information, such as criminal history records and financial reports, on their own without outside assistance. More often, however, employers use an external vendors to conduct the background check and provide the information to the company.

Employers should be aware that when using an outside vendor to obtain background information they must comply with the provisions of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). This law provides job applicants, and also employees, with certain rights regarding background checks. It also places certain obligations on an employer when seeking this information.

For example, prior to conducting the background check, the employer must provide the applicant with written notice disclosing the intent to seek this background information. The employer must also obtain the individual’s written authorization to conduct the background check. This form must be provided to the job candidate as a document separate from the job application form. See 15 U.S.C. § 1681b. The vendor conducting the background search, also known as a consumer reporting agency, may supply such forms to the employer for its use. In turn, employers should be careful not to assume that these forms comply with the requirements of the FCRA, but should instead have the forms reviewed by legal counsel to ensure their compliance.

If upon obtaining the background check information the employer decides to not offer the applicant a position, the FCRA mandates a certain two-step procedure. First, the employer must provide the individual written notice of its intent to withdraw the job offer based at least in part on information obtained in the background check and provide the individual an opportunity to obtain a copy of the background check report. Second, after a period of time which may allow the individual an opportunity to correct any errors in the report or otherwise explain the information, the employer can then actually withdraw the offer.

In addition to the federal FCRA, many states have similar laws. Minnesota has such a law, which contains requirements in addition to those found in the federal FCRA. See Minn. Stat. § 13C.02. Employers using external vendors to conduct background checks should make sure that their actions are compliant with these state laws as well.

Takeaway: Employers using outside vendors to conduct background checks on applicants or employees should take care to make sure their actions are compliant with both the federal FCRA and any similarly applicable state law. Source: Briggs and Morgan, Michael T. Miller

EEOC Updates Guidance on Employer
Use of Arrest and Conviction Records:

Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

See News Item: EEOC Issues Enforcement Guidance

Resume Assistance:

Always keep your resume updated: Tweaking a Resume

National Assistance:

Go through each of the following and see what you can learn from them, and what resources they might provide you. These are national organizations that work to change employer thinking on ex-felons, join them, learn from them. If they don't have a job then ask for a referral:

National Resource Reentry Center: Service Directories: A state-by-state Government directory of places folks can get more leads and possible jobs.

The National Employment Law Project Very Important to monitor this site because it is up to date daily and loaded with information!

National HIRE Network for felon employment

Bureau of Justice: Making Second Chances Work: A Conference for Grantees Committed to Successful Reentry

United Way - AIRS 2-1-1 Information and Referral Search

Goodwill Industries

The Next Step

How to get Bonding Following Prison:

How to get bonded after prison

OnLine Job Searching: is loaded with tips

Then CLICK on any of the following:

Local Employment Agencies:

Now, this may help more than folks think, call all the employment agencies in your area, ask them if they find jobs for ex-felons, and if they don't could they provide you with a referral to who does?

Always be on the lookout for that referral, you never know which one will open a door for you.

Local Chamber of Commerce:

Call you local and neighboring Chambers of Commerce, find out if there are any new businesses in the area, then contact them.

Start Your Own Business:

Local Job Fairs:

Always attend these as the employers are looking for new talent, make sure you let them know yours.

Other Advocate Sites by State:
With Job Information

National: Middle Ground Prison Reform, mostly for Arizona, but much of what they say applies everywhere. This is a resource everyone should review.

Illinois: Illinois Voices:

A letter of Introduction:
Letter of Introduction for Job Application

To Who It May Concern:

I am submitting this letter, along with your job application, to advise you of my past conviction of a sexually related crime (___Mention Year___). I am confident that I am capable of performing the job you have available. My past employment experience was (___Mention the Types of Jobs, Job Titles___).

I am realistic and recognize my past conviction is of primary importance to you in considering me for the job you have available. I feel I have many talents and skills which could be used by your company. Since my conviction I have turned my life around by:

(Therapy /-and/or-/ Other life changing programs completed since conviction):

THERAPY Paragraph: Therapy, for the majority of people, is effective for long term success in the community. There are studies, published by the Department of Justice, which show how people who have taken therapy have turned their lives around and become a productive member of the community. If you wish I can provide a study.

OTHER LIFE PROGRAMS Paragraph: Since my conviction I have completed (or are in the process of completing) (___Mention Schooling___) (___Mention Skills Learned in Tech Type Courses___).
Church or other Community Involvement

Paragraph: A short statement about your Church involvement (even if only as a member attending services), and other Community involvement, if any.

For ___ years I have had my life in control, and what I need today is a opportunity to show you that I can perform the job you have available. I look forward to discussing how I can be an asset to your organization.


Articles and Research Papers

DOJ Learn About Reentry (There are significant other links in this one)

Successful Job Placement for Ex-Offenders: The Center for Employment Opportunities

States Get Grants To Help Ex-Offenders

LearnKey: 21st Century Inmate Re-Entry Program

Books about employment:

Impact Publications

Article about re-entry in the U.S.:
Huge Growth in People With Criminal Records creates $57-$65 Billion in Lost Output a Year
11-17-2010 National:

Growth of Ex-Offender Population in United States Is a Dramatic Drag on Economy

Three decades of harsh criminal justice policies have created a large population of ex-offenders that struggle in the labor market long after they have paid their debts to society, according to a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). Because prison records and felony convictions greatly lower ex-offenders' chances of finding work, the United States loses between $57 billion and $65 billion a year in lost output.

"It isn't just that we have the highest incarceration rate in the world, we have created a situation over the last 30 years where about one in eight men is an ex-offender," said John Schmitt, a Senior Economist at CEPR and a co-author of the report.

The new report, "Ex-offenders and the Labor Market," found that in 2008 there were between 5.4 million and 6.1 million ex-prisoners and between 12.3 million and 13.9 million ex-felons in the United States. Over 90 percent were men.

In 2008, about one in 33 working-age adults was an ex-prisoner, and about one in 15 working-age adults was an ex-felon. Among working-age men in that same year, about one in 17 was an ex-prisoner and one in eight was an ex-felon.

Because ex-offenders face substantial barriers to employment, the authors estimate that the large ex-offender population in 2008 lowered employment that year by the equivalent of 1.5 million to 1.7 million workers.

"The rise in the ex-offender population overwhelmingly reflects changes in the U.S. criminal Justice system, not changes in underlying criminal activity," says Schmitt. "We incarcerate an astonishing share of non-violent offenders, particularly for drug-related offenses. We have far better ways to handle these kinds of offenses, but so far common sense has not prevailed."

The report warns that in the absence of reforms to the criminal justice system, the share of ex-offenders in the working-age population will rise substantially in coming years, increasing the magnitude of employment and output losses estimated for 2008. ..Source.. by The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. In order for citizens to effectively exercise their voices in a democracy, they should be informed about the problems and choices that they face. CEPR is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options.

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate (BACK to the Top Page)

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