Getting a job after being convicted of a felony is tough. Often times, the interviewer will not hear your explanation after you disclose your previous conviction and before you know it, the interview is over.
Ideally speaking, everyone deserves a second chance in life, even felons. And the first step in redeeming yourself after being convicted is to get a job.
United Parcel Service, We all know UPS. We see their trucks almost everywhere. It is one of the largest package delivery company and one of the leading providers of transportation and logistic services in the world.
In 1907, James E. Casey, who was then a 19 year old messenger, established a company in Seattle, Washington which intends to fulfill the need of America for private messengers. The small company was first called American Messenger Company.
Over time, UPS has earned many excellence awards. In 2016 alone, UPS received 8 awards from different award giving bodies. The logistics and transportation company employs 444,000 people, servicing more than 220 countries across the globe.
UPS offers wide range of benefits to ensure that their employees get to experience work-life balance. Employees are covered with health insurances including dental, vision, sickness and accident insurance, disability and cancer insurance, life insurance and more.
People enjoy working with UPS not just because they offer great pay, but also because of the environment. Most UPSers say that they become better at what they do because of the help they get from the management.
Does UPS Hire Felons?
Based on our research from various online sources, it appears that UPS hire felons. However, this does not mean that they hire everyone that has felony.
The company, just like many others, take into account many factors when considering a felon’s employment. One is the nature of the felony. If it won’t potentially affect the position, there wouldn’t be any problem with your application.
Some other factors may also include the length of time since release from prison and the number of felonies committed. Having been convicted of grand theft might not cross you out from the list of qualified candidates.
UPS does not have any policy against hiring felons. Although, most of the positions available requires hard, physical work and labor.
Application Process At UPS
UPS only takes application online. This will save the time of the applicant in going to the office to submit a resume and get scheduled for an interview. Here is a quick guide on how the UPS application process works.
- Visit UPS Careers and choose a location (you can also filter the results through job title)
- Read the job description and click “Apply Now”
- Fill out the application form with your personal information and submit once finished
- The recruiter will call/email you for the time and location of your interview
- The interview may also include a tour to the site
- When the interview is over, you will be informed if you were chosen for the position or not
Tips To Apply At UPS
Never lie to the interviewer. Companies like UPS conducts thorough background check and can call you at the last minute to retract the job offer.
It is better to discuss this matter proactively. You are not just giving them the impression that you are honest, but also telling them that you take full responsibility for what you have committed.
Do not forget to focus on the positive rather than the negative side of the story. Discuss things that kept you busy during the time of your conviction, which helped you become a better person.
This can be a stressful situation for most felon applicants, so practice throwing your answers to possible interview questions, and think of it like this opportunity is the last one you’ll ever have.
UPS Hiring Process
One attractive option for those who find themselves looking for employment after a felony conviction is working for United Parcel Service, better known as UPS.
In the era of home delivery for everything, UPS offers an in-demand service, stability and starting pay above most state minimum wages. They also seem to always be hiring. This may have you wondering, will UPS hire me, even though I have a felony on my record? The answer is complex, but luckily not a hard ‘No’.
UPS Background Check
UPS does not have a standard policy against hiring felons. This obviously doesn’t mean they will hire any felon, but they will not refuse to hire someone based solely on a conviction as a matter of a blanket, company-wide policy. The absence of a strict policy prohibiting the hire of someone with a criminal background is good news for you.
You will have the opportunity to apply for the job and hopefully land an interview where you can showcase your skills, eagerness to work and reliability. Always be straightforward when discussing your criminal history. Many hiring managers can overlook past transgressions, but will not tolerate being lied to or misled. Also, if you are caught hiding or minimizing your past record, and the lack of truthfulness comes to light later, this could be grounds for immediate dismissal.
It has been reported that UPS reviews each applicant with a criminal background on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the nature of the crime, a felony may not be a deal-breaker. For example, a conviction related to theft could hurt your chances, as they are trusting you with valuable packages. It is also the company’s responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees, so a felony of a violent nature may increase the scrutiny given to your record.
On the other hand, a public drunkenness conviction won’t impact your ability to work as a package handler, assuming you’re responsible enough not to imbibe during work hours.
Take a logical approach to assessing weather your conviction would be a non-starter for your prospective employer. If it was for something completely unrelated to the industry you are applying to work in and wouldn’t impact your ability to do your job, it may not be as disqualifying as you might expect.
Other things the hiring manager may take into consideration are how long ago the conviction happened, do you have multiple felonies and if you are honest and upfront about your history.
Protections for Felons seeking Employment
If you have been watching the news lately, there has been a movement gaining momentum to prohibit discrimination in job hiring based on previous criminal convictions. There are many states that forbid reporting felony convictions occurring over seven years previous on background checks. So far California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Texas and Washington have instituted the seven-year rule.
Please note some of these states do have an exception to the seven-year rule based on the specific nature of the position, such as finance or law enforcement, or the salary of a position, for example if they earn over $25,000 (New York state) or over $75,000 (Colorado). Always double check your state and local jurisdiction as the law is constantly changing.
Ban the Box
In addition, several states have enacted “ban the box” which restricts asking about criminal history on job applications, and some even restrict asking those questions until a conditional offer of employment has been presented to the applicant. The term “ban the box” comes from the checkbox on many job applications that require the applicant to check a box asking if they have ever been convicted of a criminal offense.
Fair Chance Ordinances
UPS job postings include the following disclaimer:
“UPS is an equal opportunity employer. UPS does not discriminate on the basis of race/color/religion/sex/national origin/veteran/disability/age/sexual orientation/gender identity or any other characteristic protected by law.” – UPS Posting for Package Handler on Glassdoor.com
The last part, “any other characteristic protected by law” is especially important for those with a previous felony conviction. This comes into play if you live in a jurisdiction that has implemented new regulations regarding background checks.
These regulations are commonly known as Fair Chance Ordinances. They are designed to allow former offenders to move on with their lives and not be discriminated against because of past mistakes.
If you live in these states, public and private employers are regulated on when in the hiring process they can ask about criminal history: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington.
In other states, only public employers are regulated on when they can ask about criminal backgrounds, but private companies are still able to ask for that information on a job application, interview, etc. These less regulated states include Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Some cities have adopted Fair Chance Ordinances even if they haven’t been more widely implemented at the state level. Again, double check your state and local ordinances.
Working at UPS
Many message boards have comments from employees of UPS stating they were hired even though they had a felony conviction in their past. This shows that it is possible for a felon to be hired at UPS, and you should not discount your chances of being hired simply because you have a criminal record.
As mentioned above, the starting pay at UPS is quite decent. The pay for a package handler starts around $12 an hour and delivery drivers can expect $16 to start. These figures may vary, depending on the location and specific position. Some states, counties and cities have a minimum wage above $12. For example, Los Angeles County has a minimum wage of $14.25 so if you plan to work in one of those areas, your pay will be commensurate with the local/state requirements.
Another benefit of working for UPS is the low barrier for entry. Necessary skills required are usually related to the physical nature of the job and previous experience isn’t necessary for entry level positions. This can be a valuable opportunity to get your foot in the door if you are reentering the workforce after incarceration.
For example, if you are looking for a job in a warehouse, you must be able to work in a fast-paced environment, stand for long hours and be able to lift heavy packages, usually between 25 and 35 pounds, but up to 70 pounds.
As a driver you will also need to be able to lift or maneuver packages weighing up to 150 pounds, drive long hours, operate a manual transmission and pass a Department of Transportation physical.
Even though entry-level jobs are often only part-time, UPS states on their website that they have a “hire from within” attitude and work to promote current employees to higher positions within the company when openings arise. If you don’t mind toughing it out in the beginning, your hard work and patience could lead to a long career with opportunities for advancement and increase pay at UPS.
Another advantage of working for UPS is that you will be eligible for benefits after 12 months of even part-time employment. Aside from health insurance, UPS also offers a generous education assistance program of up to $2,625 per semester / $5,250 per year. The education assistance program is available to employees on their very first day of work. This could be a valuable benefit and opportunity to gain an education and improve your skillset to become more marketable for other employment opportunities.
As with any job, your attitude, skillset and performance will determine if a hiring manager will decide to bring you on board. Show them why you would be a good fit for UPS and highlight the skills you have that are compatible with their culture, such as punctuality, reliability and willingness to work hard.