Have you been fired because of your conviction record? Have you been subjected to a background check and denied employment based on the results? Do you have a conviction record, but the conviction has absolutely nothing to do with the job you are applying for or have been hired into? Were you an excellent candidate for a job – good skills, education, and/or prior work experience – but the employer, for whatever reason, did not hire you? Do you believe it could be because of your conviction record?
Attorney James Walcheske is among the top Conviction Record Discrimination attorneys in Wisconsin. He has counseled hundreds of clients through this thorny, and rarely understood, area of the law. Determine whether you have been subjected to conviction record discrimination, contact us for a free case evaluation.
What Is A Conviction Record?
“Conviction record” covers more than just criminal convictions. The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act defines “conviction record” as “information indicating that person has been convicted of any felony, misdemeanor or other offense, has been judged delinquent, has been less than honorably discharged, or has been placed on probation, fined, imprisoned or paroled by any law enforcement or military authority.”
What Is Conviction Record Discrimination?
Conviction record discrimination is most likely to occur during the hiring process. An employer is prohibited from denying employment to an applicant based on a conviction that is unrelated to the position applied for.
Applying for a Job with a Conviction Record in Wisconsin
Disclose your convictions on an application – Most employment applications ask that you disclose your conviction record. These questions can come in different forms and can be limited with different time frames, such as any convictions within the last 10 years.
Disclose all your convictions honestly - Regardless of what the question asks, you must answer the question honestly and completely. If you have two convictions, do not simply disclose one conviction on the application, list them both. If it asks about any convictions, do not simply list criminal convictions. If you were convicted of shoplifting, which is municipal violation and not a crime, put it down.
Read carefully – It is important to carefully read and understand what is being asked. IIf the question only asks you specifically about felonies, list only the felonies you have been convicted of. Similarly, if it only asks for convictions in the past 10 years, and you have a conviction from 12 years ago, you would not need to list it.
Protect your rights – In Wisconsin an employer cannot deny employment based on your conviction if it is unrelated to the position. However, failure to answer a question about convictions fully and completely automatically provides an employer the right to deny employment. Don’t forfeit your opportunity for a conviction or criminal record discrimination case.
What Is Not Conviction Record Discrimination?
There are exceptions to conviction record discrimination that allow employers to base decisions on your conviction record without violating the law.
For example, if you did not disclose your conviction record on an employment application, even if you simply forgot to list an offense, when the application asked you to do so, the employer can deny you the job.
Even in situations where you truthfully disclosed your conviction record on an employment application, an employer may still be able to deny you employment in certain situations where the circumstances of the conviction are substantially related to the position you applied for. For this reason, an employer can ask you questions relating to the circumstances underlying an offense.
The Walcheske & Luzi Difference
At Walcheske & Luzi, LLC it is our pledge to provide open and honest advice, taking the time to listen, counsel, and advise. We will work closely with you to determine if you are the victim of conviction or arrest record discrimination. Tell us about your situation, we’re ready to help.
But don’t take our word for it. Check out our Testimonials, where former clients have described their past experiences with us.