The laws and rules of anti-discrimination

When you are looking for work as an ex-offender, bias and job discrimination will be present at least 50% of the time. The laws and rules of anti-discrimination in regards to ex-offenders are limited; but, because of the coverage of the laws, an ex-offender is protected under a wide range of other rulings as well.

General guidelines within the laws and rules of anti-discrimination cover hiring and pay issues. Coverage for the rules of anti-discrimination for ex-offenders includes:

  • Hiring and firing - unless the job is a security issue, you can't be disqualified for being an ex-offender
  • Compensation, assignment, and classification - ex-offenders can not be singled out for certain assignments or job duties
  • Transfer, promotions, layoffs and recalls - ex-offenders can claim rights against being unduly transferred, laid off or discriminatory promotion practices if it can be proven
  • Job advertisements - most security considerations must be addressed in the job advertisement or at the interview
  • Testing - ex-offenders can not be singled out for testing if it is not required for the position
  • Use of company facilities - this would include being told to use certain bathrooms, doorways, entrances, and access to areas within the building
  • Training and apprenticeship programs
  • Fringe benefits - ex-offenders can not be denied insurance or vacation status because of criminal history
  • Pay, retirement plans, disability leave - ex-offenders can not be paid different wages as others performing the same duties

Coverage for rules of anti-discrimination against ex-offenders in relation to race, color and national origin include:

  • Discrimination because of birthplace, culture, current residence, language abilities and native language
  • Discrimination via failure in an attempt to accommodate the religious belief of an employee
  • Creation of a hostile environment

The Americans with Disabilities Act can also cross into the rules of anti-discrimination for ex-offenders in the following situations:

  • Being a qualified individual with a disability - this is someone who can satisfy the requirements for skills, experience, education and other job-related needs; and can perform the job with or without reasonable accommodations.
  • Prohibited questions or tests - this applies to questions or tests before the offer of employment is made. The employer can ask about the ability to perform job functions and a physical exam may be required only if it is applied as a general rule of employment.
  • Drug or alcohol use - while an employer can hold you responsible for illegal substances, they can not disqualify you for being in treatment programs or seeking counseling for this

Proving discrimination requires knowing the rules of anti-discrimination for ex-offenders as they relate to the overall guidelines. Making yourself familiar with the laws of anti-discrimination in relation to ex-offenders is the only good way to protect yourself in the job market today.