Image Banner of glasses of coke with the caption "Does Coca-Cola Hire Felons? Answered here."

The Coca-Cola Company is the largest beverage producer on Earth, bar none. They own over 500 brands offered in over 3,900 varieties. Their brands are valued at over $21 billion, obviously including the tasty beverage Coke. Ranked against brands in other categories, Coca-Cola comes out in the #3 position of biggest brands in the world (edged out only by Apple and Microsoft).

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With a revenue stream of nearly $46 billion, and over 100,000 employees, the Coca-Cola company has lots of job opportunities across North America. From warehouse workers, plant workers, bottlers, drivers, white collar corporate jobs, advertising and marketing, sales, food engineers, customer service reps, and many more—all that is left to ask is, does Coca-Cola hire felons?

Does Coca-Cola Hire Felons?

Yes, Coca-Cola does hire some felons, but Coke still runs a background checks and drug screening on all applicants. Felons with convictions for certain crimes may run into issues; a lot depends on how long ago you were convicted of your felony and the job you are applying for.

Like any major corporation involved in the distribution of a physical product, Coca-Cola has warehouse work for folks willing to work hard. Depending on the area, it may be detrimental if you have a conviction for a robbery or theft, however by and large Coke isn’t dealing with high-value merchandise. So it is not an automatic dismissal. Just explain your circumstances to the best of your ability.

Furthermore, if your record has been expunged or if you can demonstrate that you’ve gone through a rehabilitation program, then these things should be mentioned. For driving jobs, they’ll obviously want someone with a fairly clean driving history and no recent DUI’s or DWI’s, either. Coca-cola also hires truck CDL truck drivers, truck driving is a great career choice for certain felons. Like anything, the hiring will be done on a case-by-case basis, so there’s no one policy which can cover every scenario.

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Background Check Limits

It is important to understand that some states have laws regarding how far back a criminal background check can go. This can greatly affect whether coca-cola/Coke will hire a felon.  Here are the laws in each state.

Twelve states do not allow any felony conviction information older than seven years to be reported.

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York *
  • Texas *
  • Washington*

(* exceptions based on pay/salary)

Some states will not report court cases where you were found NOT guilty: Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Alaska, California, New York and Michigan.

These states will report an unlimited number of years back for any felony convictions and also report NOT guilty verdicts: Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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How to Apply to coca-cola

Felons interested in exploring the career options at Coke should carefully read through Coke’s career page. It covers everything from Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Technical Functions, Marketing, Accounts Management, Public Affairs, and many others.You can apply for jobs at Coca-Cola Company’s website. They offer an extremely thorough and helpful page of tips for application and resumes…even the interviewing phase!

Be forthcoming on your application and during the interview. Do some practice interviews, and anticipate hard questions. Be ready to give honest answers, but in a way that helps them understand why they should consider you.

Yes, Coca-Cola on the whole does hire felons depending on the circumstances of the crime, sentence, and release. So put on a smile and go apply for a job at Coke!

Why Work for The Coca-Cola Company?

Coca-Cola North America is a demanding company. They have to be. The sheer scale of their operations requires the highest degree of sound management practices and high quality work. Think about it. Their main product is still a glass bottle filled with an acidic mixture of chemicals designed for human consumption!

The odds for anything to go wrong are high, and a company like Coke can’t afford to take any risks. But that’s a good thing. Because it means you are not working for some small-scale fly-by-night outfit. Coke is the biggest of the big leagues. In fact they are so big there’s more than one of them!

The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and Coca-Cola Refreshments are essentially the multi-headed beast of the same enterprise, but it’s good to understand that two people who both ‘work for Coke’ may not be working for the exact same company.

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As their site clarifies, ‘While many view our Company as simply “Coca-Cola,” our system operates through multiple local channels. Our Company manufactures and sells concentrates, beverage bases and syrups to bottling operations, owns the brands and is responsible for consumer brand marketing initiatives. Our bottling partners manufacture, package, merchandise and distribute the final branded beverages to our customers and vending partners, who then sell our products to consumers.’

The Atlanta-based Coca-Cola places a lot of value on their employees, their ‘heart and soul.’ Indeed they realize that their 125 span of success is directly related to how they treat both their customers and their workers, which is why they have adopted and enforce ‘a consistent set of ideals as we seek to benefit and refresh everyone who is touched by our business.’

Alright, so you like the sound of all that and are ready to apply? Great! But you have to be ready, because they get a lot of applications and getting in isn’t always easy.

As their site states, Coke likes ‘enduring business ideas that drive growth and innovation.’ But they also ‘demand quality in everything we do.’ So that is the expectation you must grasp going into the application process. Coke wants perfection, so make your resume and application perfect. Take the time to review it with a fine-toothed comb, ensuring it is error free. If you have a friend with a good editorial eye, ask them to take a look. You might even consider hiring a professional resume editor to assist you

Felony Expungement – In a number of states it is possible to have your felony conviction either expunged or sealed. Imagine having your record swiped clean! Learn more here.