CVS is one of the largest pharmaceutical stores in America. They provide millions of people every day with life-saving prescriptions, as well as selling various medical supplies and supplements. But do you need a spotless record to work there? It’s more complicated than it seems.

To help give men and women a second chance, many companies have signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge. Companies who sign this are agreeing to look at what the person can do first, and then they will check their record. CVS Health has signed the pledge, but what does this actually mean for felons looking to apply?

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Does CVS Hire Felons?

The Short Answer: It is possible for a felon to work for CVS in some cases but not all.  Felons will not be able to work in the pharmacy but may be able to work as a sales associate. Certain felony convictions like theft and violent felonies may keep you from becoming employed by CVS.

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.

Background Check Limits

It is important to understand that some states have laws regarding how far back a criminal background check can go. This is very helpful information to know when applying for jobs whether at CVS or anywhere else. Here are the laws.

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 unlimited numbers of years back of 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.

CVS and the Fair Chance Business Pledge

The “Fair Chance Business Pledge” is an initiative set in place by President Barack Obama in April of 2016. It urges company to remove the question about felonies until further in the interviewing process. The hope is that companies will get to know the person, instead of rejecting their applications immediately. Several companies, like American Airlines and Coca-Cola, have chosen to sign the pledge.

They have also promised to work in the community to help those they do not hire, making America better for all. This could be something as simple as encouraging other companies to do the same, but it can also mean creating job programs that help convicted felons learn new jobs for a new market. Some companies also have referral programs. Those that are not hired are accepted into a job interviewing course to help them do better in future.

CVS has signed the pledge, and they have even been listed on the White House’s website about this claim. With all this information, this would make a person believe CVS is felony-friendly, but there are a few issues.

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CVS has no claim on their website that they have signed any pledge. When our organization, Help For Felons, reached out and asked them, we were given no response. This shows the pledge was not that important; it was probably a political move to make the company look better. It is also an issue that this pledge is no longer on the White House website, and can only be viewed as an archived webpage.

When we asked the White House for a statement, we also received no response, making the entire effort essentially meaningless. Companies who promised to help felons no longer have a reason to continue to do so. Many of the businesses will go back to the old way of hiring. CVS has already done this by placing a question about criminal history at the very beginning of their job application, though they claim it has no bearing on whether a person will be hired or not. This will deter many felons from applying. However, there is a possibility of employment.

Even if CVS did keep their promise, there is no guarantee a felon would be hired. Those who have been banned from the selling of controlled substances will not be considered for pharmacy work. It just is not ethical to do so. If a felon wants to be employed there, it is best that they apply for a sales position, and not in the actual pharmacy.

It is also possible that there were other, more qualified candidates for the position a felon applied for. If this happens, it is best to look online for companies that have made public statements about it in the past.

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In 2016, CVS made a promise to look out for felons. Unfortunately, public opinion has swayed and they no longer are committed to this promise. It doesn’t mean a felon can’t be hired, but the chances are not as great as other, more understanding companies. If someone with a criminal background needs a job, a better place to look would be on our jobs for felons page, or find a company that has made public statements about their commitment to felons the past.

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.