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Does Costco Hire Felons?

Does Costco hire felons? Yes they do, although they don’t hire all felons. Your ability to get a job at Costco Wholesale will depend on the nature of your offense, its age, and your rehabilitation, along with your skills and experience.

Costco is a great company to work for. The pay, benefits, training, and working environment are among the best in retail, and the company promotes from within, so you’ll have opportunities to move up the ranks.

In this article, we’ll go over all of the information that a felon needs to know before applying for a job at Costco.

Does Costco Hire Felons in 2024?

Does Costco Hire Felons

Even though you’ve got a felony on your record, you’ll receive fair consideration when you apply for a job at Costco.

Feedback from current employees shows that Costco has hired felons in the past, and some employees report that their felonies didn’t stand in their way when they applied for a promotion.

Overall, Costco appears to be an employer willing to give felons a second chance, and if you’ve seen a job that looks like a good fit for you, you should go ahead and apply.

Is Costco Part Of Ban The Box?

Ban the Box is part of the Fair Chance Business Pledge. Employers who have joined the second chance scheme remove the question about criminal history from their application form.

Costco is not on the Ban the Box list of employers, which means you will have to give details of your offense during the initial application unless your state has passed a Ban the Box law.

The following states have passed Ban the Box Laws:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont, and
  • Washington

You don’t need to answer yes to the criminal history question if your felony has been expunged.

Is There A Background Check At Costco?

There is a background check at Costco but don’t let that put you off. On the Costco application form, they even tell you that having a criminal conviction doesn’t necessarily mean disqualification.

As well as checking your criminal record, the background check will confirm your identity and your right to work in the United States. The background check may also confirm your qualifications and previous employment, so make sure that you provide accurate information.

The background check usually takes about one week.

How Far Back Does Costco’s Background Check Go?

How Far Back Does Costco’s Background Check Go?

It’s not clear how far back the background check goes, but it will be at least 7 years. In some states, there’s a 7-year limit, so employers can’t go back any further.

Background check agencies in states with a 7-year limit may still report prison release and parole dates within the last 7 years if the law allows, so older offenses can still be discovered.

States which limit background checks to 7 years:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Washington

The Costco application form specifically asks if you’ve been convicted of a felony or released from prison for a felony in the last 7 years (if state law allows the question to be asked).

This suggests that while they may go back further than 7 years on the background check, Costco is primarily interested in your record during the last 7 years.

What Kind Of Felonies Is Disqualifying?

Costco evaluates criminal records on a case-by-case basis. They’ll look at the nature of your offense, how long ago it took place, how long it’s been since you completed your sentence, and what your conduct has been like since that time.

Violent offenses, sexual offenses, theft, fraud, and drug dealing are usually the most problematic offences for employers. So if you have any of these offenses on your record, the older the offense the better.

If your background check picks up a disqualifying offense, Costco will contact you and give you the opportunity to provide more information.

When this happens, you’ll need to explain the circumstances surrounding the offense and then show evidence of your rehabilitation.

This can include completion of a drug rehab program, volunteer work, education or training, and character references.

Does Costco Drug Test During The Hiring Process?

Does Costco Drug Test During The Hiring Process?

Yes, all applicants have to pass a drug test. The Costco drug test takes place after a successful interview.

You’ll be asked to take a saliva test which will be checked on the spot, so you’ll know right away if you’ve passed or failed.

Costco screens for a wide range of substances:

  • Opiates
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Amphetamines and methamphetamine
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Methadone
  • Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
  • Propoxyphene

As you can see, the drug test will pick up some pharmaceutical drugs. If you’re taking any prescription medications, make sure you take a valid prescription with you.

As well as a pre-employment drug test, Costco also carries out reasonable cause and post-accident drug testing.

Is Costco A Good Place For Felons To Work?

Is Costco A Good Place For Felons To Work?


If you can get a job at Costco, you’ll earn decent money and get good benefits.

Costco’s starting pay is better than the pay on offer at many other retailers and you’ll get regular raises. If you work on a Sunday, you get the time and a half too. The minimum starting pay is $17 an hour, and the average pay is around $24 an hour.

Costco employees are eligible for medical and dental benefits with Costco covering about 90% of the cost. Co-pays are low.

Once you’re eligible for the 401(k) plan, Costco contributes 3% of your pay and also offers a 50% match based on your contributions to the plan of up to $500 per year.

You’ll get 4 free Costco memberships – one for yourself and some to give to family and friends.

Costco expects employees to work hard and give their best, and you’ll find that the work environment is positive and team-focused. Employees who work hard will be eligible for promotions and this can be a great opportunity for a felon.

A lot of retailers have high employee turnover because they don’t pay enough, and they overwork and underappreciate their staff leading to an unhappy workforce. This isn’t the case at Costco, where many employees are happy to work year after year.

Because a job at Costco can be a long-term situation, you can settle in and get off the job merry-go-round where you face rejection after rejection because of your background.

Entry-level jobs at Costco:

  • Merchandise stocker
  • Bakery Assistant
  • Food court assistant
  • Gas station attendant
  • Cart assistant
  • Front end assistant
  • Member services assistant
  • Depot assistant
  • Depot driver
  • Business delivery order picker
  • Business delivery driver

Wrapping Up

Costco Wholesale is an employer that doesn’t unfairly discriminate against applicants with a felony on their record.

You’ll be asked to disclose any felony offense or prison release date within the last 7 years during your application (if state law allows), but the nature of your offense will be taken into account, so having a recent offense isn’t always a barrier to employment.

Costco carries out a background check on all applicants which is why it’s important, to tell the truth about the application. If the background check picks up a disqualifying offense, you’ll have an opportunity to make your case and try to show that you’ll be a trustworthy employee.

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