Employers cannot ask you about your criminal record on the initial job application.
But employers can ask you for written permission to do a background check.
What can an employer find out from my criminal record?
From your criminal record, employers CAN find out about
- arrests from the last 7 years, and
- any convictions (no matter when they happened).
They CANNOT find out about
- arrests from more than 7 years ago; and
- records that have been erased, expunged, or pardoned.
Do all employers run a criminal background check?
No, but many do. Most private employers have a choice, but it depends on the job. You will have a criminal background check for these jobs:
- nurse and nurse’s aide;
- child daycare center or group daycare;
- licensed home child care provider;
- lottery, casino, horse or dog racing, and off-track betting jobs; and
- public school jobs.
How do I answer questions about my record?
Tell the truth. If you lie when you apply for a job, you might be fired because you lied. At the job interview, you could explain why your record would not stop you from being a good employee. You might say what you learned from your mistake or that it happened many years ago.
- Learn the questions that are usually asked and get your answers ready. You can get a list of interview questions on the Connecticut Department of Labor website.
- Tell the truth. If you lie about certain information, you might be fired for lying and you might not be able to get unemployment or state welfare. For some jobs, lying about a criminal record is a criminal offense.
- Think about how you will explain your criminal record and the times when you didn’t have a job.
- Write down your job history. Include the company names and addresses, your job duties, the dates you worked, and why you left.
- Get references. Try to find someone from one of your jobs who you trust and who will say good things about you. Ask what they would say about you if an employer calls and asks about you. Also ask if you may use him or her as a reference.
Who at work will know about my criminal record?
Only the people who interview and make hiring decisions can see information about your record. After you are hired, your criminal record information should not be used against you or seen by other employees.