Many employers check for criminal records of job applicants when conducting background checks for certain positions. If a company evaluating your qualifications for a position finds out that you have a prior arrest or conviction for theft, you may find it difficult to receive a job offer when you’re up against other qualified candidates, some of whom may not have any prior criminal record. If you are facing a theft charge, an experienced Detroit theft lawyer can help fight to minimize the severity of, or eliminates if possible, the criminal record you may have.
If you already have a criminal record and you are seeking a job, you do have certain legal rights. State and federal laws impose limits on how employers can use criminal records in making a decision to hire or not hire a candidate. In Michigan, the law protects job applicants who have misdemeanor arrests on their record, but it does allow employers to inquire about prior theft convictions as well as felony arrests.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a theft crime, you need a skilled lawyer who knows how to build a strong legal defense on your behalf. At Davis Law Group, we will stand by your side throughout the legal process to help you pursue the outcome you deserve.
Criminal Records and Discrimination
Employees and job applicants are safeguarded from discrimination in every aspect of the employment process through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) offers guidance for how employers can disqualify candidates who have criminal records that pose a risk without acting with discrimination. In making the decision about which applicants should be screened out, an employer must consider the following:
- The nature and seriousness of the offense
- The nature of the job itself
- The level of supervision and interaction the potential employee will have with others at the job
- The time period that has passed since the offense has occurred or the sentence has been completed
The EEOC has mandated that employers provide applicants who have a prior criminal conviction the opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding their arrest and conviction. Applicants must also be permitted to provide any helpful information that demonstrates to the employer that they should not be passed over due to their record.
New Michigan Expungement Law
Michigan provides the opportunity for expungement of previous felony theft convictions from the records of certain individuals. A theft lawyer can help you pursue this option if you are eligible. You must have only one felony conviction and two or fewer misdemeanor convictions in order to qualify for expungement. The law helps many people remove a one-time mistake they made so that it does not hinder them from future opportunities such as employment.
The law in Michigan does prohibit employers from asking applicants about previous misdemeanor arrests that never resulted in a conviction. However, employers do have permission to ask about convictions that have occurred as a result of misdemeanor charges as well as arrests and subsequent convictions on felony charges.
Michigan’s Department of Civil rights has issued a Pre-Employment Inquiry Guide that provides guidance to employers about their hiring practices, including rules on interview questions regarding arrests and convictions. The guide prohibits an employer from putting into effect a policy that automatically refuses to consider someone for a position who has a prior criminal conviction.
Contact a Michigan Theft Lawyer for Help Today
If you’re facing a criminal charge of theft, you should ensure you hire a theft lawyer that knows all of the options available to potentially keep a conviction off your record. Your potential future employment and other opportunities are at stake as well as the ability to retain any current employment you have.
If you have been charged with theft in Michigan, our lawyers at Davis Law Group can provide the legal defense you need to ensure your rights are protected. We know your future is at stake and we can use the resources necessary to build a strong defense on your behalf.