You face charges of assault, but still want to continue your job search. Do hiring managers have the right to ask you about your criminal history during an interview?
Chron shines the light on your rights as an applicant and employer rights regarding the matter. Learn how to prepare for interviews and protect your job prospects.
Applications versus interviews
Just because a job application does not include questions about your criminal background does not mean you should not expect such a line of inquiry during an interview. Arizona represents one of the many states that no longer ask job applicants about their criminal history on job applications, a measure called “Ban the Box.”
While Ban the Box laws exist, public employers have the right to reject job applicants with a conviction on their criminal record if the conviction relates to the position’s job duties. For instance, because of your assault charges, you may face hardship qualifying for jobs in social services, education and healthcare. A person with a criminal background in forgery, theft or identity theft may have a hard time qualifying for positions that require handling money.
Protecting the public
One reason companies may ask pointed questions about an applicant’s criminal background is so they have the information needed to protect their clients, customers or target audience. By failing to ask about a person’s criminal history, the company may face legal action for negligent hiring practices.
While your run-ins with law enforcement do not define you, they may become stumbling blocks in specific job sectors. When you know more about employment and hiring practices in those job sectors, you have a better idea of how to your efforts to attain a new job.