Image of a sub sandwich from subway with the caption "Does Subway Hire Felons , answered."

Subway is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world. As of 2010, they had over 30,000 stores, over 1,000 more than McDonald’s. With a company this large, they have to leave individual hiring to store managers. This is great news for most felons; some do not even do a background check! However, there are certain types of felonies that make a person un-hirable, and extra effort must be done to keep the job.

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Does Subway Hire Felons

The first “type” of felons that Subway won’t hire are those with convictions for aggravated assault or sex crimes. This is fairly common in the fast food industry. These kinds of felons are seen as a danger by the public, and if a customer found out they would no longer want to go there. This creates bad publicity, and is not good for business. The other is those related to theft. This is an obvious issue. Those with a record of stealing, especially recently, are seen as a great liability. Subway would rather hire a person with less experience than one known for being dishonest.

Applying to Subway with a Felony

However, these are not the first things a hiring manager will see. When applying online to Subway, there is no question about criminal history. This is a fantastic opportunity for those with a questionable past. Although it may be tempting to hide the conviction (some places do not even perform a background check!), it is not wise to do so. If something bad happens, the first thing Subway will do is look at the background of their employees. If they find a secret conviction, the felon could be sued for lying and be held responsible for any financial repercussions.

Explaining your Felony Background

Instead of waiting for this to happen, the felon should explain in detail about what happened. They should show proof they are a different person, preferably in the form of referrals. These can also be placed on the online application. Once hired, it is important that the felon prove they were worth the perceived risk. Being flexible with hours and honest about everything are especially noteworthy. After a while, the manager will respect the felon, and they could even become a manager themselves!

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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 effect whether subway will hire you or not. 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 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.

Other Options

For those that do not want to work in a franchise, other options are available, but may be more difficult to get in. These are owned by Subway, and comply with federal standards. These jobs include anything from housekeeping to librarian to basic office jobs. The latter will be of most trouble for felons. This requires a college in the area they would want to apply, along with years of experience. Due to time in jail, many felons were unable to get a degree or any experience in the field. The housekeeping position would be much easier, as it requires only a GED.

Subway Offers Opportunity to Some Felons

For felons, it is important to find a place with flexibility. Due to Subways large size, most individual stores operate according to state laws instead of federal rulings. This means that managers can hire almost anyone, providing they are not a threat to the company. For felons, this means bringing extra references and creating face-to-face meetings before applying. If hired, they then need to prove their dedication through hard work and honest communication. If all of this is done, a felon has a bright future. Many have moved on to managerial positions, or to better jobs in other fields!

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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.