Returning To Work With A Criminal Record

Here are some incentives or actions you can do to improve your chances of finding employment:

  • Federal Bonding Program: The Federal Bonding Program provides fidelity bonding insurance coverage to individuals with criminal histories and other high-risk job applicants who are qualified, but fail to get jobs because regular commercial bonding is denied due to their backgrounds. Click here for an information sheet from the state of California.
  • Tax credits: The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit to reduce the federal tax liability of private for profit employers to be used as an incentive for employers to hire individuals from eight different targeted groups: TANF recipients, veterans, ex-felons, high risk youth, summer youth, Food Stamp recipients, SSI recipients, and vocational rehabilitation referrals.
  • Record Clearance:Many criminal and infraction convictions can be “cleared” from your record. San Jose State University offers assistance with record clearance. Not sure of you are eligible to clear your record, take a look at the Figuring Our Your Options information on the California Courts website.
  • To assist with the record clearance process it is advised to obtain a copy of your California Rap sheet. Contact any LiveScan provider or the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department at (408) 808-4760 to make an appointment for a LiveScan.
  • Fair Chance Hiring Toolkit: In this toolkit, you will find information about laws in California that protect job seekers with criminal records and sample letters and materials you can use to exercise those rights.
Are you concerned about how to answer interview questions about your record? Take a look at some sample ideas on how to best respond.