As an employer, it’s important to follow the proper procedure when it comes to hiring ex-offenders. Ban the box legislation has continued to spread in various cities, municipalities and states, necessitating employers to stay up-to-date on what they can and cannot do in a criminal background check. Employers should always keep in mind that even if an applicant has a criminal past, they could still qualify for the job.
However, there are positions that ex-offenders should not qualify for, due to the nature of the job. One example that may be obvious-someone who is a sex offender should not be hired to work in a school or with children. In California, many cases have been uncovered in which both sex offenders and ex-offenders have easily gained jobs as substance abuse counselors-a position that carries a higher degree of responsibility due to the nature of their relationship with clients. With that, certain criminal records should disqualify individuals from working as counselors-if a background check were completed.
Due to the fact that California is one of two states that do not require drug & alcohol counselors to have a background check in order to work as a counselor, it’s easy to see how they have slipped through unnoticed. While there are organizations that certify and register counselors, they do not require background checks, nor do counselors have to self-report if they are arrested.