Find a job with a criminal record

People in the courts are coming up against more and more companies that do criminal background checks. These people therefore often find it difficult to re-enter the job market after having served their sentence. This is what emerged from a long interview with Léo Croteau, Director General of the Opex Manpower Center, which supports people in the labor market.
M . Croteau confirms that companies that do not check the criminal background of their employees are becoming increasingly rare.

“There are Canadian companies that subcontract with American companies and the latter increasingly demand that the people who produce and touch the products have no criminal records,” he explains.

Opex aims to help some 200 clients in the Eastern Townships each year with a success rate between 50 and 55%.

“We hit the target, but what we see is that the people who register with us have, for a few years, been further from the job market and have a bigger record,” admits Mr. Croteau. People with the least skill will be able to find employment. ”

The shortage of labor means that people in the courts currently have several job opportunities.

“Companies are, let’s say, more flexible at the moment, they need people”, underlines Mr. Croteau

What is provided by law

An employer can check whether a person in his employ or who he wishes to hire has a criminal record or a criminal record. However, an employer cannot dismiss, refuse to hire or penalize a person because he has been found guilty of a penal or criminal offense, if this offense has no connection with the job concerned or if this person has got a pardon.

But in reality, it still happens that people are refused a job, according to Mr. Croteau.

“It depends on the type of job,” he says. If a business needs a welder, they can’t tell someone they don’t take it because of their locker. But in fact, it can find several reasons. ”
The reliability of employees with a criminal record is often questioned. Constant delay or consumption problem, the experiences of employers are not always positive.

Mr. Croteau, however, ensures that the maximum is done to integrate people into the new workplace.

“When a client comes here, we take the time to assess them and meet them more than once,” explains Mr. Croteau. For example, we will schedule appointments to assess his motivation. We will give him an appointment at 9 a.m. and if he suggests 11 a.m. or 1 p.m., we say no. If you are not able to go to an appointment at nine o’clock, how are you going to go to work? ”

The legal persons taken in charge by Opex are notably met on numerous occasions and accompanied with their new employer. There are Quebec employment programs that allow companies to get part of the salary of a court-appointed person funded.

Mr. Croteau finally ensures that all checks are made when a person requests the services of Opex to find a job.

“We have no choice but to take into account the reality of a locker because if you do not give good service there can be consequences like maybe recidivism,” he says. The basic principle is that if a person is active on the job market, he occupies his mind. ”

“Sometimes the client will lie about his file or will not remember everything he did,” adds Croteau. Sometimes a client will have a file in Montreal and one in Calgary for example. “

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