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Does McDonald’s Hire Felons?

Does McDonalds hire felons? Short answer: yes, but it depends on the type of offense and the hiring policy of the restaurant owner. Let’s look at some details so you can decide whether to put in an application.

Does McDonalds Hire Felons in 2024?

Does McDonalds Hire Felons

Fast food jobs are a lifeline for jobseekers with a felony on their record. The sector has high staff turnover rates due to the nature of the work and relatively low hourly pay, and that means restaurant owners can’t be too picky with their hiring policies. This is good news when you’ve got a felony on your record and need a job to get back on your feet.

Did you know that the majority (95%) of McDonald’s restaurants are operated as franchises? The restaurants carry the McDonald’s name, they’re decked out with McDonald’s decor, and they serve the McDonald’s menu, but they’re not owned by McDonald’s.

Because there isn’t one company setting a hiring policy that every McDonald’s has to follow, there’s a great deal of variation from restaurant to restaurant.

A small McDonald’s franchise might own two or three restaurants in a town, while a large franchise can own hundreds across a state. All together, there are over 1,000 separate franchise owners running more than 13,000 McDonald’s restaurants across the country.

Without knowing where you’re located, it’s impossible to say definitively whether the company operating the McDonald’s in your area is felony friendly, but we can say that most McDonald’s have a very open hiring policy, and they’re willing to hire applicants with a felony offense on their record.

Does McDonald’s Do Background Checks?

Does McDonald’s Do Background Checks?

You should expect a background check when you apply for a job at McDonald’s. The McDonald’s background check will verify your identity, and your right to work in the United States, and run a nationwide criminal records search.

Having a felony on your record doesn’t mean that you’ll be automatically rejected once details of your criminal record come back. The manager will look at your offense and make a decision based on the type of felony, its age, and your record since that time.

Because each McDonald’s franchise sets its own policies, we don’t know how far back your background check will go, but for corporate owned McDonald’s, the application form asks about felony offenses within the past 5 years. The application form also states that having a felony conviction during that period won’t necessarily disqualify you from employment.

How can you tell if the McDonald’s you want to work at is owned by a franchise or by the McDonald’s company?

When you’re on a job site like Indeed or Glassdoor, the job listing will say McDonald’s USA if the restaurant is owned by McDonald’s. Franchise-owned locations will usually show the name of the franchise company.

If you’re going to a restaurant to apply in person, just ask an employee if it’s a corporate or franchise location.

Is McDonald’s A Second Chance Employer?

McDonald’s USA is a member of the Second Chance Business Coalition. The coalition, as its name suggests, supports second chances for individuals with criminal records, and they encourage employers to remove the barriers to employment that make a life for ex-offenders so much harder than it needs to be.

Even though corporate and franchise-owned McDonald’s are both willing to hire felons, they haven’t joined the Ban the Box movement.

Ban the Box participants remove criminal history questions from the application form, but when you apply to McDonald’s, you’ll need to list any offense(s) within the specified period.

The upside to disclosing offenses right at the beginning of the hiring process is that if you’re invited to an interview, you know that you’ve got a good chance of being hired because the manager already knows about your past.

Does McDonald’s Hire Felons With A Theft Conviction?

Does McDonald’s Hire Felons With A Theft Conviction?

Having a recent theft conviction may mean rejection at one McDonald’s while another will be happy to hire you despite the offense.

An older felony theft conviction should lead to a lower chance of rejection, especially if it’s over 5 years old. When you’ve got a theft conviction, you’ll usually have better luck getting hired at McDonald’s if you apply for a job in the kitchen rather than a cashier position.

A manager is more likely to trust you to work on prepping or cooking in the kitchen, where you don’t have access to the cash register.

Does McDonald’s Hire Felons With A Drug Conviction?

If your felony was for drug possession, you’ve got a better chance of being hired than if your felony was for drug dealing. Drug dealing is closely associated with organized crime and business owners are obviously going to be concerned about the problems that could arise if an employee maintained past links.

A conviction for marijuana possession is likely to be looked at more favorably than one involving cocaine, meth, or heroin use. But if you’ve completed a rehabilitation program and can show that your drug habit is firmly behind you, you’ll have a better chance of getting hired.

Does McDonald’s Hire Felons With Assault On Their Record?

Assault is a serious crime and employers have to consider the safety of their other employees and their customers when they make hiring decisions.

An older assault conviction may not be a deal breaker if you haven’t been in any trouble since then and have a stable employment history and good references that can vouch for your character.

Do McDonald’s Hire Felons Recently Release From Prison?

Do McDonald’s Hire Felons Recently Release From Prison?

It’s certainly possible to get hired at a McDonald’s soon after release from prison. Some McDonald’s employees who post information on general forums like Reddit, and on employment sites like Indeed, share how they were hired at McDonald’s after a recent release, with some even being hired the same day they got out of prison.

It all depends on the hiring policy at the McDonald’s you apply to and the type of offense you committed.

Will McDonald’s Hire A Felon With A Sexual Offense On Their Record?

Usually, the answer to this question is no, especially if your sentence requires you to register as a sex offender.

Hiring managers need to hire responsibly so that staff and customers are safe, otherwise, they may face a negligent hiring lawsuit if an employee carried out an assault.

They also have to protect the company’s reputation. If the sex offenders registry in your state includes employment details, then the McDonald’s restaurant could face a public backlash for hiring you.

You should still apply, though, especially if you aren’t required to register because as we’ve already mentioned, background checks and hiring policies differ among franchise owners.

Another option you could explore is working for an independently owned mom-and-pop food outlet rather than a chain restaurant.

What Experience Do You Need To Work At McDonald’s?

You don’t need any experience to work at McDonald’s as a crew member. Crew member jobs are entry-level positions and you’ll receive full training so you can do your job efficiently.

Even so, if you’ve got some experience in a food service or customer service role, that’s going to make you a more attractive candidate.

Do You Need To Pass A Drug Test To Work At McDonald’s?

Pass A Drug Test To Work At McDonald’s?

When you apply for a crew member position at McDonald’s, you won’t be asked to take a drug test.

You may be asked to take a drug test if you appear to be under the influence while you’re working or if you have an accident at work which results in an injury.

Read More: Everything About McDonald’s Drug Testing.

Quick Recap

Do McDonald’s hire felons? Yes, they do, and many former felons have found stable work at a McDonald’s restaurant. The fast-food industry in general is a good employment option when you’ve got a criminal record.

Because McDonald’s restaurants are usually owned as franchises, there isn’t a single hiring policy that they follow. However, all outlets will carry out a background check which includes a criminal records search.

Having a felony on your record, even a recent one, isn’t always going to lead to automatic rejection, and you’ve got a good chance of getting hired if you apply.