Most company HR representatives try not to discriminate against individuals with felony charges during the hiring process. However, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEO), Federal law does not prohibit employers from asking about your criminal history.
So they can ask about your record but they can’t discriminate because of it…?
The net is that most company HR representatives will do everything they can to avoid discriminating against someone with a felony record. However, a felony record could hurt your chances of being hired if your record indicates a liability in the position you are applying to.
I do want to note that talent acquisition agencies are not in the same category as corporate HR representatives. Corporate HR representatives aren’t “recruiters” per se – they are hiring authorities and held accountable to the EEOC standards. Recruiting Agencies / Talent Acquisition Agencies are not HR as they *find* / *source* (whatever you want to call it) talent that fits certain criteria and can be quite selective when it comes to choosing who they are going to represent.
Therefore, if you have a felony record, we advise you to be upfront about your record when applying for positions or contract assignments. While companies cannot discriminate because of a felony record unless it poses a liability to the position for which you have applied, they can hold it against you if you weren’t honest about having one to begin with.