Thus, it is clear that the USPS does lawfully discriminate against felons insofar as which positions the felons are allowed to apply for. The post office will only consider applicants with a proven record of successful reintegration with society, following their release from custody. In other words, if the felon continues to misbehave post-release, then they’ve severely curbed their chances of getting a good federal job!
For this reason, it is critical that felons uphold their status as good citizens once they are back on the outside. If they wish to find those sought-after federal jobs, such as the ones with the Postal Service, it is incumbent upon them to keep their records clean and show to any social service agencies they’re dealing with that they are indeed trying hard to rehabilitate.
Is It Worth the Effort to Apply?
Yes, a felon will have a harder time going through the application process, because their record is going to be scrutinized. But the Postal Service does take the time to give all applicants a fair review. They are required by law to ensure all public applicants, no matter what their criminal history, have a shot at entering the federal workforce. They are allowed to discriminate for certain reasons, as listed above, but that doesn’t mean they will give a blanket refusal simply because of a prior felony conviction.
In fact, the Postal Service objectively looks at every individually, and evaluates case by case.
A felon isn’t guaranteed any special treatment, nor should they expect any undeserved prejudice. The USPS is an equal opportunity employer, and they understand all applicants—even those with criminal backgrounds—deserve to be considered for a job. Felons often have to prove their worth over and over, something they’ll probably be required to do at every turn for the rest of their lives because of their inescapable past. But the best way for them to improve their chances in terms of getting a job with the post office is to demonstrate their rehabilitation and ability to do the work. If they can do this, the USPS will look much more favorably at their application because the felon has proven their merit and suitability to hold a job involving other people’s mail and personal possessions which are being shipped or received.
Again, it is important to note that, as stated above, the USPS is not allowed to review criminal records which are marked as sensitive. Thus these records cannot be used as a reason to exclude the applicant from candidacy or to dismiss the application out of hand. On the contrary, the USPS should not, in a perfect world, even consider such records at all when making their determination. If an individual believes that their sensitive records were used as a reason for unlawful discrimination, they should consider contacting an attorney for advice.
Furthermore, for those in such a situation, it is critical to understand that once a felony conviction is “set aside, vacated, or annulled, expunged, or sealed pursuant to state or court order, the conviction may not serve as a basis for the disqualification of the applicant.”
What this means is that the USPS cannot lawfully keep digging into the felon’s past if the above criteria apply. They simply aren’t allowed to continue making oral or written queries about the conviction, not even “indirectly.” If it were discovered that was happening, they would open themselves up for legal action by the applicant.