In this guide we’ll answer the question, Does Amazon hire felons? And we’ll tell you what you need to know about your background check.
Securing a new job isn’t always a straightforward process. And if you’ve got a felony conviction in your background, your criminal record often puts another stumbling block in your way.
When you’re looking for work, it’s important to know if the companies you’re applying to hire felons.
The Big Question – Does Amazon Hire Felons in 2023?
All employers in the United States, including Amazon, have to adhere to rules set out by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These rules state that employers cannot unfairly discriminate against applicants based on a number of criteria. Old criminal convictions are one of those criteria.
Amazon is one of the largest employers in the nation and they always have vacancies they need to fill. Because of this, they are willing to hire felons, in some cases.
In compliance with EEOC regulations, Amazon looks at each application on an individual basis. They don’t have a blanket policy in place which disqualifies felons, so if you see a job opening that looks like a good fit for you, you should go ahead and apply.
The worst that can happen is they turn you down. You’ve got nothing to lose by spending an hour making your initial application.
When you apply for hourly-paid positions with Amazon, you can select from the available shifts for each role. Having choice over your shifts means you can fit your work around any childcare responsibilities or other fixed schedule needs that you have.
Because Amazon is such a large employer, you’ll have many opportunities to progress in the company. This makes entry-level positions less of a dead-end than you might initially think.
Getting a foot in the door with an employer like Amazon is a great opportunity for someone with a felony on their record.
The first stage in the hiring process for hourly positions is a straightforward application on Amazon’s online jobs portal. Most entry-level positions don’t require a resume, but if you’ve got some good recent work history, then it will work in your favor because it helps the hiring manager learn about your track record.
As part of your application, you have to agree to a background check, and you need to pass a drug test before you can start work.
Applications for salaried positions start on the jobs portal in the same way, but these jobs will require a resume, skill assessments, and interviews. Background checks are carried out for all prospective employees, but you’re less likely to need to take a drug test for a salaried position.
Do Amazon Hire Felons For Driving Jobs?
Unfortunately, having a recent felony on your record will make it very unlikely that you can get a driving job at Amazon.
Driving jobs are unsupervised, so Amazon really needs to hire the most trustworthy people they can find for these positions.
When you drive a truck or van for Amazon, you’re responsible for thousands of dollars worth of goods and an expensive company vehicle. Because of this, they probably won’t take a risk on you.
If your felony is older than 7 years, then they may hire you. Amazon’s driving jobs pay well, so take a chance and apply.
Does Amazon Warehouse Hire Felons?
Yes, Amazon warehouse hires felons. Whether you will get hired with your particular offense is a matter for the hiring manager, but having a felony on your record won’t result in an automatic rejection.
Having a serious felony like murder or armed robbery on your record will probably prevent you from being hired, but a less serious offence like a felony DUI, for example, shouldn’t stand in your way.
Most Amazon warehouse roles are hourly paid positions and, because of that, the application process is very straightforward.
The first step in getting hired for an Amazon warehouse position is setting up your account on the jobs portal. You’ll need to have an email address or mobile phone so that you can verify your account.
Next, you choose the job you want to apply for and click on the apply button next to that job listing. Check through the job description to make sure you have the skills that the role requires and answer a few screening questions.
For example, with most Amazon warehouse roles, you’ll need to be physically fit, able to walk long distances and lift heavy items. If you can’t meet this requirement, you will be screened out.
Once you’ve completed that part of the application, you can provide your work history information and then complete a few online assessments.
These assessments are nothing to worry about and they’re easy to complete after you have watched the training video.
After you pass that stage, you’re ready to pick a shift and a work location. Review the information that you’ve entered so far and if everything is correct, go ahead and accept the conditional job offer.
Now comes the less straightforward part for those with a felony on their record. You have to supply your personal details and agree to a background check and drug test.
Amazon has not signed up for the Ban The Box initiative. This means that they ask about criminal convictions and felonies during your initial application.
You should answer questions about your criminal past honestly. Your background check will reveal your history, and even if your felony doesn’t disqualify you from working for Amazon, lying on your application will. Always tell the truth.
After those details are taken care of, it’s time to schedule a pre-hire appointment and submit your final application.
When you attend your pre-hire appointment, you’ll complete some paperwork, have your photo taken for your ID badge, and take your drug test.
Amazon will then order the background check that you agreed to and send your drug test sample to a lab for analysis.
If you pass your background check and drug test, you’re all set to start your new job.
What Does Amazon’s Background Check Look For?
Amazon uses an outside agency to conduct its background checks. This agency is usually Accurate Background.
Accurate Background runs an employment background check to confirm your identity and other personal details. They will verify your right to work and your social security number.
Your Amazon background check will also reveal your work history and education details. So resist any temptation to exaggerate your experience or qualifications on your application. If you put down warehouse experience on your application, Amazon will expect to see an employment record that confirms that.
Accurate will pull up your criminal records covering at least the last 7 years. Some states have passed legislation which limits the information that reporting agencies can disclose about you.
In addition to those state laws, there is a federal law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which limits some disclosure to 7 years. But felony convictions aren’t covered by the FCRA.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act puts rules in place that credit reporting agencies must follow. Because this is a federal law, it applies to every state.
If you’re wondering why a credit reporting law has any relevance to your background check, it’s because credit reporting agencies are the companies that carry our employment background checks. And your employment background check is actually a credit report.
Let’s look at this in some more detail.
Laws Governing Your Amazon Background Check
As we’ve already mentioned, there are laws that regulate what your background check can reveal about you. The law at the federal level is the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Some states have implemented laws that place further restrictions on background checks.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act
Under this legislation, credit reporting agencies carrying out a background check must not disclose any of the following information if it dates back more than 7 years. (These restrictions apply to positions paying an income of less than $75,000).
- Arrest records
- Dismissed cases
- Civil judgments
- Warrants issued
As you can see, the FCRA doesn’t give you any protection concerning the disclosure of felony convictions. But if you have a long criminal record, there is some benefit to having the less serious parts of it off-limits after 7 years.
It’s not fair for criminal records to continue to cause problems for people long after they’ve paid their dues and the FCRA goes some way to addressing that.
Next, we’ll look at the states which provide additional protection when it comes to background checks.
Currently, 13 states have limited criminal record background checks to 7 years. This means that felony convictions older than 7 years cannot be included in your background report. The states limiting background checks are:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- Washington State
In other states, any felony older than 7 years will appear on your background check if the employer has asked for a longer search.
We don’t know for sure how far back Amazon checks criminal records because they don’t make this kind of policy public. Some employees report being hired with felonies less than 7 years old, while others have reported being turned down with felonies over 10 years old.
In any case, if your criminal conviction is from one of the above states, a felony from more than 7 years ago shouldn’t hamper your employment prospects.
In another article: Does Amazon Flex Run Background Check?
Employment Agencies May Hire You To Work At Amazon
If you apply to Amazon and get turned down because of your felony, you could still work for the company via an employment agency.
Employment agencies will often overlook felonies reported on a background check, and they can be a way to find work if you were rejected when you applied directly to Amazon.
There are downsides to this. Your rate of pay will be lower than the rate Amazon employees get for doing the same work, and it’s unlikely that you’ll get any benefits like health insurance or sick pay.
We understand that Amazon limits agency worker positions to 1 – 2 years (depending on the role) and after that, you have to apply for a permanent position with Amazon or leave.
A couple of years down the line, your felony will be further in your past, and if you’ve worked hard and been a model employee, you’ll have an excellent record at Amazon which could turn things in your favor next time you apply.
Frequently Asked Questions About Amazon Hiring Felons
Can You Be A Felon And Work At Amazon?
Amazon deals with each application on a case-by-case basis. The type of felony you have on your record will affect the final decision. An older felony DUI conviction may be less of a barrier to getting hired than a recent conviction for theft or assault.
Your background check will reveal your criminal record for at least 7 years, and Amazon will use that information alongside the rest of your application to decide if they can hire you.
What Type Of Felons Does Amazon Hire?
According to current employees with felony convictions, the type of felons Amazon hires depends on the position being applied for and the age of the felony conviction.
If your felony is of a less serious nature, you’ll have a better chance of getting hired than you would with a felony for violent assault or robbery.
Summing Up What We Know About Amazon Hiring Felons
Amazon does not automatically reject applications from felons. The type of felony that you have, along with its age, will affect the hiring decision.
Because Amazon hasn’t signed up to the Ban The Box movement, they will ask you about criminal convictions during your initial application, and your background check will reveal your felony convictions for at least the past 7 years, and maybe longer.
If Amazon rejects your application because of your criminal record, you could still work for the company via an employment agency. This employment might help you get hired directly in the future.
All things considered, it’s a good idea to apply for a job with Amazon even if you have a felony. You could sail through the hiring process without a hitch and secure yourself a good job. Don’t let uncertainty over the outcome prevent you from making that application.
Robert Eric (a lover of Cats and Dogs) is the co-founder of HireFelonsJobs. In our search for a better life, after… A platform was created for the purpose of easing the search for ex-convicts.