In the United States of America, there is a growing shift towards offering work and job opportunities to felons who have paid their sentence.

Many of these employers who hire felons have signed onto the Fair Chance Pledge, which aims to offer Americans with prior criminal records and convictions a fair chance at employment.

In America, nearly 73.5 million individuals have a criminal record.

That is 29.5% of the entire population.

While we are not going to discuss criminal reforms needed in the justice system, we will discuss the need to offer a second chance to those individuals and the employers who hire felons and others convicted of crimes.

A felony charge can disqualify an individual from many rights and liberties guaranteed in the constitution.

Chief amongst those disqualifications is disenfranchisement or the loss of voting ability.

But in addition, felons can be excluded from obtaining certain licenses and visas, are ineligible to serve on a jury, and are excluded from purchasing firearms and ammunition.

However, some felons are also ineligible to qualify or apply for government assistance or welfare.

With the difficulty many felons find in reintegrating with society after their debts have been paid, the problem can be compounded by their inability to receive welfare and government aid.

As President Obama remarked, “around 70 million Americans have some sort of criminal record … Now, a lot of time, that record disqualifies you from being a full participant in our society — even if you’ve already paid your debt to society.

It means millions of Americans have difficulty even getting their foot in the door to try to get a job much less actually hang on to that job.

That’s bad for not only those individuals, it’s bad for our economy.

It’s bad for the communities that desperately need more role models who are gainfully employed.

So, we’ve got to make sure Americans who’ve paid their debt to society can earn their second chance.”

Fair Chance Pledge

The Fair Chance Business Pledge looks to have businesses take a pledge and a commitment towards providing an opportunity for all individuals, regardless of previous criminal record.

The pledge urges businesses simply promote a fair and equitable hiring process.

This includes a “ban the box”, training of human resources and hiring managers to make fair applicant decisions, allowing for job training and internships to all individuals, utilizing background check providers which are correct, and a push to host job fairs to allow for individuals with previous convictions to apply to these opportunities in person.

Additional Government Programs

In addition, the federal government has enacted two major programs to assist ex-offenders and felons land a job after their incarceration.

These programs look to benefit and guarantee certain items to employers, in-return for hiring ex-offenders.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

The first is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit or WOTC.

This program encourages employers to hire individuals from the below targeted group:

  • Qualified IV-A Recipient
    • This is an individual who is part of a family that receives assistance under a state plan.
  • Qualified Veteran
    • A qualified veteran is someone who is:
      • Member of a family receiving assistance under Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for a minimum of three months during their initial 15 months of employment
      • Unemployed for 4 weeks but less than 6 months in a 1-year period ending on the hiring date
      • A disabled veteran entitled to compensation
    • Ex-Felon
      • A person hired within a year of being convicted or being released from prison
    • Designated Community Resident (DCR)
      • Is at least 18 years old and under 40 who resides in an empowerment zone or an enterprise community or a renewal community and continues to reside there after receiving employment
    • Vocational Rehabilitation Referral
      • A person who has a physical or mental disability
    • Summer Youth Employee
      • An individual between 16-18 who is employed between May 1st and September 15th and resides in an empowerment zone or an enterprise community or a renewal community
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Recipient
      • An individual over 18 but under 40 who receives SNAP benefits for the previous 6 months or 3 of the previous 5 months
    • Supplemental Security Income Recipient
      • A person who received SSI benefits within 60 days of hire
    • Long-Term Family Assistance Recipient
    • Qualified Long-Term Unemployment Recipient
      • An individual who has been unemployed for at least 27 consecutive weeks at the time of hire

An employer MUST confirm that the individual is a member of the targeted group before claiming the federal credit.

Federal Bonding Program

Secondly, in 1966 the U.S. Department of Labor has enacted The Federal Bonding Program that aims to guarantee honesty for job seekers whom are considered “at-risk.”

These job seekers may find difficulty in securing a job position but can be federally bonded to ensure that no theft, fraud, or loss of valuables will be lost.

This program covers employers for the first six-months at no additional cost.

Employers Who Hire Felons

With the growing awareness surrounding the hardships faced in securing employment, many companies are beginning to push for the Fair Chance Pledge.

Though each person and individuals’ case is different, below is a list of companies who have either signed the pledge or are known to be open to hiring ex-offenders.

Any employer with an asterisk after their name indicates that they have signed the pledge.

(Credit)*, Carle Place, NY

21st Century Telecommunications LLC*


AAMCO Transmissions and Auto Care*

Abbott Laboratories*

Abcor Industries

Access Green

Ace Hardware*


A.D. Transport

Adams Trucking

Adecco Staffing

Advantage Pool Management Services, Inc. Atlanta, GA

Aesthetics On The Glow*


Aids Healthcare Foundation*, Los Angeles, CA

Al Abbas Cookies*, Dearborn, MI

Alamo Draft House, Austin, TX*

Alamo Rent a Car

Alaska Airlines*

ALB3 Consulting Research & Management*


Allegra Marketing & Print* Marmora, NJ

Allied Van Lines*

Allstate Insurance*

Ally Taco*

Alton and Southern Railway



America West Air

American Airlines*

American Eagle Sealcoating and Asphalt LLC*

American Express*

American Financial*

American Greetings*

American Heart Association, Dallas, TX *

American National Logistics

American Orange Trucking


Amity Foundation*

Andersen Windows*

Anderson Trucking Services, Inc.

Andrews Funeral Home*

Anti-Recidivism Coalition*

Anzures Worldwide*

A One Contracting & Supply

Apple Inc.*


Approved Storage and Waste Handling, Inc.*

A & R Logistics

Aramark Food Services*

Arizona State University*

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co

Arthrex*, Naples, FL

Ashley Furniture*

Asian Media Access*

Associated Students Inc., San Francisco State University – Project Rebound*


Atlantic Parking Washington, D.C. (DMV)

Atlas Van Lines

Auburn University*

Auto-chlor Systems*

Automation Personnel Services Inc.

Avalon Breads*

Averitt Express

Avis Budget Group*

Avon Products*

Bahama Breeze*

Baker’s Square Restaurant & Bakery

Bally’s Hotel & Casino

Bally Technologies/Scientific Games

Barr-Nunn Transportation


Baxter International*

Bed, Bath & Beyond*

Behavioral Health Works* Anaheim, CA

Best Buy*

Best Foods

Best Western*

BF Goodrich

Big Boy Restaurants*

Black and Decker*

The Blanch Law Firm, NYC

Blue Cross/Blue Shield*


Bonefish Grill

Borgata Casino & Spa

Boston University*

Boyd Bros Transportation

Braum’s Inc.*


British Airways

Brunswick Corp

Budget Rent-A-Car

Buffalo Wild Wings*

Butterball Farms*

CalArk International Trucking

Caldwell Banker*

Calvin Klein*

Camp Bow-Wow*, Westminster, CO

Campbell Soup Company*

Candlewood Suites

Canon USA

The Capital Grille

Captain D’s*

Carahsoft, Reston, VA*

Career Education Group

Carl’s Jr.*

Carolina Cargo

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Carrier Corporation*

Cascade Engineering*

Casio, Inc.*

Caterpillar Inc.*

CDW Computers*

Chase Bank


Cheeseman Transport



Chicago Green Insulation*

Chicago Mercantile Exchange

Chipotle Mexican Grill*

Choice Hotels

Christmas Tree Shop


City University of New York*

CKS Packaging, Inc.*

Clear Talk Wireless*

The Coca-Cola Company*

Coldwell Banker

College of Saint Benedict*

Columbia University*


Comfort Inn &Suites

Compaq Computer

ConAgra Foods*


Conco Construction*

Cornell University*

Core Carrier Corp.

Country Inn & Suites

Crete Carrier

CR England

Crowne Plaza

CRST Van Expedited

CVS Health*

Dairy Queen

Dap Products

Darden Restaurants*

Dart Container*

Dave’s Killer Bread

Davis Transport Inc.

DeBoer Transportation Inc.


Deer Park Spring Water Co.*

Del Monte Foods

Dell Corporation

Delta Air Lines*

Delta Faucets*


Dick Lavy Trucking

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit


Dole Foods*

Dollar General

Dollar Rent A Car*

Dollar Tree*

Domino’s Pizza*

Dr. Bronner’s*

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group*

Doubletree Hotels

Dow Brands

Dow Jones & Company


Dunkin Donuts

Dunlop Tires

DuPont Co.*


Dutch Maid Logistics Inc.

The Earle Companies*

Eastern University*

Eddie Bauer*

Eddie V’s*


Elkhart Plastics Inc.

Embassy Suites*

Enterprise Rent a Car*


Equity Office Properties

Erickson Companies (Chandler, AZ)



Express Employment Professionals*

Exxon Mobil


Fairfield Inn

Falcon Transport

Family Dollar*

Federal Express*

Feeler Tree Service (Belle, MO)

FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles*

Firestone Tire and Rubber*

First Step Staffing  Atlanta, GA | Phila., PA | Nasville, TN | Duluth, MN

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar

Flint Hills Resources*

Floor and Décor Outlets of America

Flying J

Food Giant*

Food Services of America*

Fortune Brands


Freymiller Trucking


Fruit of the Loom*


Gallery Furniture*


Gedney Pickle, Chaska, MN


Genesis Health Clubs*

General Electric*

General Growth Properties


General Mills*



Golden Corral*

Goodman Manufacturing*

Goodwill Industries

Goodyear Dunlop Tires*


Gordon Trucking, Inc.

Great Clips*


Greyston Bakery*

Greyston Social Enterprise*

Groendyke Transport

Guardian Industries*

Gusto*, San Francisco, CA

Hager Construction Co. (Jacksonville, FL)

Hampton Inn


Haralambos Beverage Company, Industry, CA

Hawthorn Suites

The Hershey Company*

Hillshire Brands

Hilton Hotels*

Holiday Inn

Homeboy Industries (Los Angeles)

Home Depot*

Homewood Suites

Honest Jobs*

Huddle House*

Hunt Transportation

Hyatt Hotels


I Have a Bean*



Illinois Tool Works*

In-N-Out Burger*


International Paper*

Interstate Batteries*

Interstate Distributor Co.


Jack in the Box*

J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.

JBM Packaging*

JBS Carriers

Jewel Osco


Jimmy John’s*

Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System*

The Johnson Group*





Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

King’s International Staffing, Phoenix, AZ

Klobus O’Neil Roofing Co. Inc, (Brightwood, OR)

Knight Transportation

Koch Industries*

Kogok Corporation (MD)


Kraft Foods*

Kreilkamp Trucking


LG Electronics

Labor Ready

The Lancatser Food Co.

Landstar Trucking

L.A. Times

Lawn Life, Columbus, OH

Legendary Baking

Libra Group*

Longhorn Steakhouse*


LORAM Maintenance of Way, Inc.





Maggiano’s Little Italy

Magnum Express


Marriott Hotels


McGriff, Seibels & Williams, Inc.

MCH Transportation

McLane Foodservice*

Melton Truck Lines

Men’s Warehouse*


Metals USA*

MGM Resorts International*

Miami Valley Gaming (OH)



Miller Transporters, Inc.

Millis Transfer, Inc.

Mobil Oil


Molson Coors Brewing Company



Monro Muffler Brake & Service

Mustang Cat

MVP Staffing

N2 Publishing, Wilmington, NC*

National Carriers

Navistar International*

New York Times


Newell Rubbermaid*

Newport Group*, Walnut Creek, CA

New Relic, San Fransisco, CA*


Niagra Bottling

Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub

Ninth St. Bakery, Durham, NC



Northern Trust

Ocean Resort Casino

Ocean State Job Lot*

O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar

Old Republic Title*

Olive Garden*


Outback Steakhouse

Packaging Corp of America*


Papa John’s*

Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen*

Park Plaza Hotels

Party City

Paschall Truck Lines


Perdue Farms*

Perkins Restaurants

Perkins Specialized Transportation, Inc.


PFS Group*

PGT Trucking

Phillip Morris*

Pilgrim Quality Solutions*

Pilot Flying J*

Plank Industries*

Power Home Remodeling*, Chester, PA


Preferred Freezer Services

Premium Retail Services,  Chesterfield, MO*

Prestige Home Improvements (VA Beach, VA)

Prideline Buses, Birmingham, AL

Prime Retail Services (Construction)


Prime Inc

Prudent Financial*


Quality Ingredients Corporation, Burnsville, MN

Raddison Hotels*

Red Lobster*

Red Robin*

Republic Services*

Residence Inn

Restaurant Depot*

Reyes Beverage Group*

Riverside Transport, Inc


Roehl Transport

RPM Development

  1. R. Donnelley & Sons*

R&R Transportation

RTI International*

Rubbermaid Inc.


Rutgers University*


Salvation Army*

Salmon Companies

Sam’s Club*

Sara Lee Corporation – Bimbo Bakeries USA

Schneider National

Seasons 52*


Services Group of America

Set and Service Resources*, Raleigh, NC

Seven Up, Inc.

Sharkey Transportation, Inc.

Shell Oil*

Showtime Networks


Simplex Leasing

Sisbro, Inc.

Skyline Design, Chicago, IL

Smith Transport, Inc.

Sonic Drive-In


Southern Refrigerated Transport

Spherion Staffing & Recruiting

Springhill Suites




Starwood Hotels

Star Fleet Trucking

State University of New York*

Station Casinos*

Steak and Shake

Stevens Transport

STS Transportation, Birmingham, AL

Structural Restoration Services, Inc. (Loganville, PA)

Swift Transportation

Swissport International Ltd.*




Target Stores*

TDS Telecommunications*, Madison, WI

Telephone & Data Systems Inc.



TGI Friday

The New York Times

Tijuana Flats*, Maitland, FL

Tim Horton’s

Titan Staffing Inc. (Murfreesboro, TN)

Touchstone Hospitality LLC – Columbus, OH

Towneplace Suites

Trader Joe’s*

Tradewinds Island Resorts


Transport America


Tribune Media

Tropicana Casino/Resort

Tyson Foods*


Under Armor*


U.S. Cellular*

U.S. Freightways Logistics



United Airlines*

United Parcel Service

University of Pennsylvania*

  1. S. A. Truck

US Foods*

US Steel*

US Xpress, Inc

Valvoline Instant Oil Change

Van Wyk, Inc.

Vehicles for Change Auto Service Center, Halethorpe, MD


Village Inn

Volunteers of America

Voyager Express, Inc

  1. W. Grainger*



Ward Truckload Express LLC

WEL Companies


Western Express

West Side Transport



Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company

Wyndham Hotels*


Xylem, Rye Brook, NY*

Yard House*

Year Up, Boston, MA*

Zebra Technologies

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