After satisfying the legal consequences for your drug crimes in Massachusetts, you may feel ready to get a job and regain control of your life. However, you may feel uneasy about addressing your criminal with potential employers.
Knowing your rights can help you recognize discriminatory treatment. Despite your past, you still deserve the opportunity to find a job.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Equal Employment Opportunity law prohibits employers from discriminating against you because of your race, religious affiliation, gender or disability among other things. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, these laws also protect you from discrimination based on your criminal record. If your criminal record does not reasonably help an employer determine your reliability or responsibility, they have no business using it against you.
Similarly, an employer cannot ask you about your involvement with drugs. They cannot ask whether or not you have taken or are currently taking any narcotics or prescription drugs. However, they can ask you about your arrest and any convictions you have on your record.
The next steps
While responding to inquiries about your criminal past may feel uncomfortable, you can provide answers in a manner that highlights the lessons you learned along the way. You can also redirect the interviewer’s attention to the strengths you have and how your past aided in your development of critical skills.
Knowing how to carry yourself with confidence can show potential employers your eagerness to work. Contrary to what some would have you believe; a drug conviction is not the end of the world and certainly does not have to prevent you from having a successful career.