Employment

The EMPLOYMENT CHAPTER will help you prepare to reenter the workforce and will guide you throughout the job application process. You will learn about your rights when an employer runs a background check on you, how and when an employer may consider your criminal record, and how to protect your rights in these situations. This Chapter will also help you if you want to apply for a professional or occupational license, start your own small business, or consider other alternatives to traditional employment. Finally, this Chapter will explain your rights in the workplace if your incarceration was the result of a disability, and how to protect yourself against illegal discrimination.

DISCLAIMER – YOUR RESPONSIBILITY WHEN USING THIS GUIDE: When putting together the Roadmap to Reentry: A California Legal Guide, we did our best to give you useful and accurate information. However, the laws change frequently and are subject to differing interpretations. We do not always have the resources to make changes to this informational material every time the law changes. If you use information from the Roadmap to Reentry legal guide, it is your responsibility to make sure that the law has not changed and applies to your particular situation. If you are incarcerated, most of the materials you need should be available in your institution’s law library. The Roadmap to Reentry guide is not intending to give legal advice, but rather legal information. No attorney-client relationship is created by using any information in this guide. You should always consult your own attorney if you need legal advice specific to your situation.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

  1. INTRODUCTION: Looking for Work

    1. Preparing to enter the job market

    2. How to present your best self

    3. Key terms in the employment chapter

  2. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS on Employment BACKGROUND CHECKS

    1. Your rights against employers

    2. If the employer conducts an “in-house” background check

    3. Errors in employers' in-house background checks:

  3. YOUR RIGHTS AGAINST BACKGROUND CHECK COMPANIES

    1. Background check companies’ access to your criminal records

  4. HOW EMPLOYERS CAN (& CAN’T) USE YOUR CRIMINAL HISTORY

    1. Legal and Illegal Employment Discrimination

    2. Real-life situations—examples of discrimination because of criminal record & race (or other protected characteristic)

  5. Jobs & Professions Your Record Might Exclude You From

    1. Legal restrictions on certain jobs

    2. Legal restrictions on professional licenses

  6. ALTERNATIVES TO TRADITIONAL EMPLOYMENT

    1. Consider self-employment or start your own business

    2. Become an independent contractor

    3. Join a worker-run cooperative business

    4. Apply to work through a temp agency

    5. Get Your Foot in the Door Through Temporary Positions

  7. HOW TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS IF YOU HAVE A DISABILITY

    1. Disability & reasonable accommodations in employment

  8. EMPLOYMENT APPENDIX