If you’ve got a felony in your past and have tried getting a job, then you know how difficult it is to get prospective employers to overlook your record. In fact, many companies in the private sector flat-out refuse to even look at felons.
Luckily, some places take a more nuanced approach when it comes to hiring people with a past. One such organization is the United States Postal Service. In this article, we’ll provide you with details about applying for a USPS as a felon, so make sure you read on!
Does USPS Hire Felons In 2023?
USPS considers felons for employment in 2023. Job applications from felons are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Factors like age at the time of the offense, amount of time past, and rehabilitation efforts are all taken into consideration. In many cases, felons are eligible only for entry-level positions such as City Carrier, mail handler, sales associate, and mail processing clerk.
What Is USPS’ Policy on Hiring Felons?
USPS is open to hiring felons and has hired people with felony convictions in the past. Usually, felons are only hired for entry-level positions away from sensitive areas.
USPS doesn’t have a separate hiring process for felons. Rather, a felon can directly apply for a job on the USPS website.
Applicants must pass a criminal background check, a drug screening, and a medical assessment as part of their application, any of which may disqualify an applicant with a record.
That being said, the official USPS stance on hiring ex-cons states that many people with criminal records have demonstrated successful rehabilitation and are capable of work.
It goes on to say that each applicant with a criminal record is evaluated individually to determine their employability.
Factors like age at the time of the offense, amount of time since the felony, demonstrable rehabilitation efforts, and attempts at further education or training are all taken into account when determining employability.
Which Jobs Can Felons Get at USPS?
In most (if not all) cases, felons are only eligible for non-sensitive entry-level jobs at the Postal Service.
Usually, this is because their educational qualifications are lower than those of other applicants.
Some common positions USPS hires felons for include:
- City Carrier
- Mail handler
- Sales associate
- Mail processing clerk
- Distribution associate
What Disqualifies You From Working for USPS?
While USPS is open to hiring felons, there are some things that disqualify applicants from getting hired.
For example, anecdotal evidence suggests that felons who were part of theft or robbery are more likely to get rejected. After all, it’s hard to trust a thief with people’s packages.
Sex offenders will likely not be hired because they are often barred from going near schools and playgrounds, therefore making mail delivery nearly impossible.
Those convicted of acts of treason or mail fraud will also likely see their applications rejected.
In addition to these general disqualifications, USPS has specific disqualifying factors for positions that require driving. Some of these factors include:
- Applicant has had their driving permit suspended once or more in the past 3 years, or twice or more in the past 5 years.
- Applicant has had their driving permit revoked once or more in the past 5 years
- Applicant has one or more violations in the past 3 years (or two or more violations in the past 5 years) for offenses like reckless driving, careless driving, or negligent driving.
- Applicant has a driving offense within the past 5 years that includes the use of drugs, alcohol, or controlled substances.
- Applicant has more than one violation in the past 12 months, three or more violations in the past 3 years, or 5 or more violations in the past 5 years for all other traffic offenses (excluding parking violations).
What Does USPS Look for in a Background Check?
USPS requires all applicants to submit a background check to determine their employment eligibility.
This includes a look into the applicant’s criminal history for the past 5 years, as well as their driving record (especially for positions that require the operation of a motor vehicle).
It is conducted using United States information resources only (e.g. FBI fingerprint checks, state checks, and county checks).
Pending criminal charges are included on the background check. They have to be cleared before an applicant is hired.
How Far Back Does the USPS Background Check Go?
According to the USPS website, background checks go back 5 years.
This includes a 5-year inquiry for any location where the applicant has resided, worked, or gone to school within the United States or its territories.
How Long Does a USPS Background Check Take?
A background check usually takes between 7 days and several weeks to complete.
You’ll know if you passed the check when someone from HR reaches out to you about the next steps, such as giving you a start date or scheduling your orientation.
USPS provides stable, predictable jobs with good benefits. Understandably, these features make working at the Postal Service appealing to all kinds of people, including felons.
Luckily, USPS is open to hiring certain felons, provided that they’ve maintained a clean record for several years and have demonstrated rehabilitation efforts.