17 companies that hire felons

Last updated: May 23, 2024
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Eleana Bowman
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17 companies that hire felons
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People with felonies deserve a second chance at a productive and fulfilling career. And fortunately, more and more companies are hiring felons these days.

Still, it pays to know where to look. This comprehensive list of companies that hire felons includes companies that have explicitly stated that felony records will not exclude candidates from potential employment. It also includes some firms known to hire felons that haven’t stated that publicly.

In general, discrimination in the hiring process is illegal. This includes discrimination against felons, at least in broad terms.

It is illegal for a company to adopt a blanket policy excluding felons from job opportunities. For example, a company cannot say, “No felons allowed to apply,” and technically can’t reject applications strictly because an applicant is a felon.

However, there are exceptions. If the felony is related to the type of employment, that gives employers the right to deny employment.

For example, someone convicted of child abuse could legally be excluded from employment opportunities at schools or child-care centers.

Likewise, felons can’t be hired at a gun shop, for example, since felons aren't allowed to own or handle firearms.

But for more general careers (or less severe felonies), the rules are less clear. For example, someone convicted of a non-violent drug-related felony couldn’t legally be discriminated against for a job at a grocery store or a restaurant — but they might be able to be barred from working at a pharmaceutical company.

Employers are also not allowed to use overly broad rules to exclude felons.

But the reality is that many people may apply for the same role, and having a felony on your record could affect your chances of getting hired. And because felons may have less work experience on their resumes, it equates to a tricky time finding work.

Thankfully, various government initiatives are helping to give felons a second chance. For instance, the Fair Chance Pledge is a voluntary pledge that companies can take to give felons an equal opportunity to be hired.

Seeking out companies that hire felons is wise, too. While all companies technically must legally consider felons for employment (unless there’s a relevant reason to exclude them), certain companies are more willing to hire felons.

What about non-violent felonies?

It tends to be easier to find work if you have a non-violent felony than a violent felony conviction. More companies are willing to hire non-violent felons, and more types of employment are open to folks with these kinds of convictions.

17 companies that hire felons

Seeking out job opportunities from felon-friendly companies is a good idea. It’ll help you maximize your chances of getting hired.

Find a list of companies that hire felons below. These are bigger companies that may have positions all around the country. If you’re looking for more local companies, search Google for opportunities in your area. For example, search for “list of companies that hire felons in Texas.”

1. Starbucks

Starbucks is the world’s largest coffee chain, and they are known as being a felon-friendly employer. They also have pretty good employee benefits, even offered to part-time workers.

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All applicants to Starbucks will have to go through the Starbucks background check. However, felony convictions won’t necessarily prevent an applicant from being considered for a job at Starbucks.

Find Starbucks jobs in your area to apply today.

2. Microsoft

Microsoft is one of the world’s largest technology companies, powering everything from popular computer software to the Xbox gaming console.

If you have computer skills or customer service experience, you might have opportunities at Microsoft. The company is known for being relatively felon-friendly.

Microsoft jobs vary a lot in pay and benefits, but typically, the company pays pretty well.

3. General Mills

General Mills is a huge food manufacturer that owns over 100 popular food brands and makes everything from Cheerios to frozen pizzas. As you would expect, General Mills needs plenty of workers to keep their food production lines running.

In addition to manufacturing jobs, General Mills may have opportunities in customer service, marketing, warehousing, and more.

Many positions at General Mills pay around minimum wage, but the company is known for being felon-friendly.

4. Walmart

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer by sales volume. They have over 5,000 locations in the United States alone. They’re also the largest employer in the country, with more than 2.3 million workers.

Such a huge company requires a lot of people to run, and Walmart is typically always hiring. Walmart jobs include store associates, janitorial staff, warehouse workers, and deli workers.

Walmart roles may pay minimum wage for entry-level roles and higher wages for management and marketing positions.

5. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is a beverage conglomerate with dozens of popular brands, as well as manufacturing and distribution locations all over the world. They’re also known for being relatively felon-friendly, though they still conduct background checks and drug testing.

A wide variety of positions are available with Coca-Cola at various pay levels.

6. Dave’s Killer Bread

Dave’s Killer Bread is a bread manufacturer specializing in healthy sandwich bread. Their main facility is located near Portland, Oregon.

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While Dave’s is a small employer, they are dedicated to Second Chance Employment, giving felons and anyone with a criminal record a second chance for finding a good job.

Dave’s was founded by Dave Dahl, who himself is a felon who spent over 15 years in prison. When he got out, he started Dave’s Killer Bread — and to this day, the company is dedicated to helping felons get back on their feet.

7. Amazon

Amazon is the second largest employer in the United States, with operations in eCommerce, software, business services, and more. They have been known to hire felons, particularly for warehouse jobs.

Amazon jobs consist of warehouse work, delivery drivers, tech experts, support agents, and more. One of the most in-demand jobs is for warehouse workers, who help sort, pick, and pack orders to be shipped out.

Amazon hires both seasonally as well as for permanent roles. They may even offer signing bonuses during the holiday season.

8. GAP

GAP is a clothing retailer that also owns Banana Republic, Athleta, and Old Navy. They’re often hiring for retail associate roles, as well as customer support and warehouse roles.

GAP is known to be a felon-friendly employer. Most jobs at GAP pay around minimum wage, however.

9. Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s is a popular ice cream brand. The company is known to hire ex-cons and has also supported causes like Ban the Box, which would ban the checkbox on job applications asking if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime.

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Ben & Jerry’s is located in Burlington, Vermont, and has production facilities spread around the state. There’s a wide variety of work available to folks in Vermont, including production workers and lab technicians.

10. McDonald’s

McDonald’s is the largest fast-food chain in the United States, with more than 42,000 locations. They’re often hiring food service workers.

McDonald’s has been known to hire felons, although they don’t have any specific programs for it. Most jobs at McDonald’s pay around minimum wage, but you could potentially work your way into a management role.

11. Meta (Facebook)

Meta is a tech company that owns Facebook, Instagram, and several other popular apps. They are an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer — and they also specifically state on their website that they consider applications from people with criminal histories.

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Most positions at Meta require a specialized tech skillset, but they can pay well if you have experience and formal training in tech. They also have entry-level roles for those just starting out or switching careers.

12. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is a large pizza chain with locations all across the country. It’s actually a franchise, which means that individual business owners can start their own Pizza Hut. This also means that each business might be a little different in their hiring policies.

With that said, many Pizza Huts hire felons, and there’s high demand for food service workers and delivery drivers. Most roles pay around minimum wage.

13. CVS Health

CVS Health is a chain of drugstores with over 9,000 locations across the country.

While felons usually can’t be hired on as pharmacy workers, they can typically be hired for retail and checkout roles — and CVS is almost always hiring for checkout staff.

CVS roles are entry-level and tend to pay around minimum wage.

14. Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods is a large food processing company that runs meatpacking plants, food production warehouses, distribution centers, and more.

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Tyson has open roles for food production, drivers, engineers, supply chain experts, and more. Pay ranges vary depending on the role.

15. Albertsons

Albertsons is a chain of grocery stores that owns many popular store brands, including Safeway, Vons, Acme, and many others.

Albertsons and its subsidiaries are known for being felon-friendly employers. Jobs consist of checkout staff, inventory clerks, customer service representatives, and janitorial crew members. Jobs pay minimum wage or slightly higher.

16. Lowes

Lowes is a large home improvement retailer with 1,500+ locations around the country. They are known for having felon-friendly hiring practices.

Lowes tends to prefer applicants who are handy and experienced with home improvement, as you’ll often be asked to help customers find what they are looking for and provide advice.

17. Kroger

Kroger is another large grocery store chain that owns brands like Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, Smiths, and many more.

Kroger companies are known for felon-friendly hiring practices. And they are almost always hiring checkout workers, stockers, and other crew members to staff their thousands of locations nationwide.

How to apply for a job as a felon

This list of felon-friendly employers is a great place to start on your job hunt. Once you start applying, it’s a good idea to follow these best practices:

  • Be honest. Most employers will run background checks, so they will be able to see if you have a criminal record. Lying about your record will almost certainly get you rejected from consideration.

  • Apply as normal. Don’t be afraid of submitting an application to any potential employer, even if you’re not sure that they hire felons. The worst that can happen is that you don’t hear back. Browse jobs in your area to find opportunities that might be a good fit.

  • Write a good cover letter. Many roles will ask that you submit a resume, along with a cover letter. This is your opportunity to explain a bit about who you are and, crucially, what you’ve learned from your past. The cover letter can be used to address and acknowledge that you have a criminal record before going on to explain how you’ve changed and what makes you a good worker.

  • Brush up your resume. Your resume lists your work and educational history, but it can also include volunteer work, community service, and more. Before applying, follow these resume tips to improve your resume and get noticed.

  • Dress professionally for interviews. If you get an interview, be sure to dress professionally and arrive on time. Many interviews are virtual these days, but you should still dress nicely for virtual interviews.

Finally, it’s a good idea to be prepared to explain your past if asked. In interviews, some employers may ask you about your criminal record. It’s okay to be honest, but make sure to highlight how you’ve changed or learned from your experiences.

Plenty of companies hire felons — start applying today

The firms on this list are known for being felon-friendly companies, but there are many other companies that hire felons out there. If you are qualified for a job, it’s a good idea to apply, even if you have a felony conviction on your record.

To find career opportunities in your area, browse the Jobcase job board.

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