Felony Friendly Companies

Should You Be A Felony Friendly/Second Chance Company?

Let’s face it, even this business attorney Tulsa admits this. In life, we all screw up. I’ve made more mistakes than I can count. Thankfully, none of my mistakes have ever landed me with any serious trouble with the law. But not everybody is as lucky as me. Some people face some very rough circumstances, made a bad call, and it costs them. Maybe someone had a few too many, hopped behind the wheel, and seriously injured another person in a car crash? Maybe an argument got a little heated and someone took a swing at someone when there was no provocation for an attack? Or maybe someone got a little too into a particular substance and overdosed? The list of potential examples goes on and on. The question is, do you want your company to be known as a felony friendly/second chance company?

As a quick aside, some companies are prohibited from serving as second chance companies. Businesses within 1,000 feet of a school, for example, cannot have felons employed at their business. Businesses that work with domestic abuse shelters cannot have felons doing the work.

Let me give you an example of how this choice can affect a litigation scenario. I once defended a local company as their business attorney Tulsa that marketed themselves as a second-chance company. They did not have commercials or flyers or anything like that, but they made it known in the community that they were felony friendly. They employed numerous convicted felons. One such person happened to be driving to work one morning. He stopped at a Quik-Trip to buy a coffee and heat up his breakfast sandwich. As he left the parking lot, he was rolling up the company vehicle he drove via a hand-crank. He did not see a truck coming and pulled out in front of the truck. This truck that collided with my client’s vehicle was traveling at highway speeds and the driver was admittedly hurt.

The driver hired an business attorney Tulsa who conducted an aggressive investigation into the case. The attorney found out that our company was a second-chance company and went on the attack. He dug up every piece of dirt about our driver that he could and then used the materials to cross-examine the company owner on why she did not conduct a background check. The company owner cried as she was a very kind person who honestly just wanted to give the guy a second chance.

When the lawsuit eventually settled, I asked our business attorney Tulsa client if they intended to remain a second chance company. Her response was, “After this, I don’t know.”

So what are the pros of being a felony friendly company. The first is that there are tax benefits to hiring felons. This is why you see many major corporations accepts felons is to enjoy a tax write off for offering employment to such individuals. The second, and perhaps biggest benefit, is you routinely obtain employees who are genuinely thankful to have a job. When the business attorney Tulsa lawsuit described above first started, I was a bit concerned as I did some preliminary research on some of the employees prior to meeting our clients. When I met with them, they told me how hard the felony employees worked and how they went above and beyond as they were thankful to have such a good job. The last benefit to hiring felons is it expands your market base to a broader range of potential employees. Using the employer described above as an example, they told me they would rather have a hard-working felon than a lazy non-felon. I tend to agree.

But there are some drawbacks to having such employees, consult a business attorney Tulsa about it. The first is compliance. The company described above had to constantly ensure that felons were not on projects that prohibited felons on or near the premises. This meant their job acquisition process was a bit tricky as they constantly had to manage the workflow of the employees. The second is the litigation scenario described above. The lawyer on the other side of our case admittedly did a thorough job of investigating into our driver. He never spent one cent on an investigator or a business attorney Tulsa and found all of his information on the internet. He brought this up during the deposition of our company owner. The third and final drawback is potential backlash from the public. Even though everyone makes mistakes, some members of our society view a one-time felon as a career criminal and never give the person a second chance.

Ultimately, it is totally your call whether or not your business will be a felony-friendly/second-chance company. Here is a piece of advice I will leave with you. If you decide to become felony-friendly, I would conduct a thorough investigation into every person who confesses to or you suspect has a felony conviction. Get on OSCN and look at the charges, see if they were dismissed, and see how much trouble this potential employee has had with the law. While my clients above never said it, I truly wonder if they had done a more thorough background check then they might not have hired the driver in our case.

If you believe you have a potential employee who has a felony conviction, or have current employees who have had trouble with the law, contact the RC Law Group today and a business attorney Tulsa. We are thorough researchers who can investigate a person’s criminal history, their behavior on social media, and much more. We can then prepare a report to you with all of our findings and a recommendation on whether or not this person fits with your company’s image.

There is nothing wrong with providing a second chance to someone who made a mistake, has changed, and is trying to improve his/her circumstances. On a personal note, I view that effort quite admirably. But a repeat offender with no desire to change could put your company at substantial risk for exposure for even minor transgressions. Make sure to guard your business, with a business attorney Tulsa the asset you’ve worked so hard to build, to prevent a minor accident from taking it all away.