6 minute read

Does Amazon Hire People with a Record?

Amazon is one company that does hire people with criminal backgrounds, depending on the details. Get more information here.

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The good news is that Amazon hires people with a criminal record — but it’s on a case-by-case basis. 

And given that Amazon is the second-largest employer in the US after Walmart, this means that there are many possible opportunities.

Sadly, having a criminal record can stand in the way of career success. 

For example, one study showed that of unemployed men in their 30s in the US, 64 percent had criminal records.

Obviously, a criminal record doesn’t help with getting a job.

But don’t lose hope — there are options available for people with a criminal past. 

In fact, Amazon is one company you might want to look at if you have a record.

Learn more about Amazon’s background checks and hiring practices for people with criminal records.

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Does Amazon hire felons?

Yes, Amazon hires convicted felons on a case-by-case basis. 

That said, the hiring process considers several things, like the type of felony, how far back it was, and whether it was a single or repeat offense.

For example, a felony conviction that’s further in the past (more than seven years old) might be easier to overlook. 

You can always argue that it was a long time ago and that you’ve grown since then.

According to reports from real-world job searchers on Indeed.com, the location and timing also matter.

Some locations might be more “felon friendly” than others because of a greater need for workers and state laws.

Timing is also important, with reports suggesting that the odds of getting hired are better if the felony is over ten years old.

Don’t forget the job type. For instance, if you have a history of drunk driving on your record, you may not be able to get a job as an Amazon delivery driver.

Understandable! 

The company is simply protecting its liability — for example, if a driver working for Amazon (not an independent contractor) hits someone with their vehicle, the company can be held liable too.

What jobs can felons get at Amazon? 

The types of jobs you can get with a felony record vary — including working in an Amazon warehouse as a package handler or serving as a delivery driver (if you have a clean driving record).

The type of job you can get also depends on other factors, like your previous work experience and whether you can butter up the hiring manager — building a rapport is always a good idea.
Just know that you can’t drive for Amazon Flex if you have a felony on your record within the last seven years. But you might qualify if you have a misdemeanor — more on that next.

Does Amazon hire people with misdemeanors? 

Yep, Amazon hires people with misdemeanors to work as drivers and in their warehouse fulfillment centers.

Again, hiring is done on a case-by-case basis and really just depends on the details of your crime (like the type, how long ago, and so on).

People with misdemeanors do have one additional option working for Amazon compared to people with felonies: They might be able to get a job with Amazon Flex.

Driving for Amazon Flex allows you to work as an independent contractor, setting your own hours and driving with your own vehicle. 

You can search available delivery blocks in your area online and sign up when you want.

For example, a delivery block could consist of four hours and pay $72.

On the day and time of the block that you’ve signed up for, you go to an Amazon delivery station to pick up the packages you’ll deliver. 

You then drop them off, complete your block, and get paid.

Flex is a great option if you prefer a driving job to a warehouse job, and don’t want to work full time.

Find a list of recruiting cities for Amazon Flex.

What disqualifies you from working at Amazon?

While Amazon hires people with criminal records, they do it on a case-by-case basis. 

This means the company considers the details of each applicant, including their criminal history, and other details, like work experience and references.

Certain types of criminal convictions might make it difficult to get hired at Amazon — including sexual abuse, murder, theft, and drug charges. 

Yikes.

In general, a violent crime is more difficult to overlook and may prove problematic during hiring.

We can’t really blame them.

There are also non-criminal reasons why you might not get the job at Amazon. 

For example, lying on your application can show that you’re not trustworthy, resulting in not getting hired.

Don’t worry, though — we’ve got the inside scoop on getting hired as a delivery driver with a record

Amazon also requires many of its workers to sign non-compete agreements. This may prevent you from working on similar technologies for a competitor within a set time frame. 

But the non-compete issue seems to apply mostly to corporate jobs.

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Does Amazon do background checks?

Yes, Amazon does a background check on all potential employees. 

The background check will mostly cover your criminal history and possibly include a reference check. 

Depending on the job, you might also have to do a drug screening.

The background check goes back seven years.

It’s best to be upfront in your job application about anything that may come up on the check. 

If you lie and get found out, you might be seen as untrustworthy and hurt your chances of getting a job with the company.

But just know that Amazon isn’t allowed to use a background check to discriminate against you, for example, due to your race, gender, or ethnicity. 

The company has even faced legal action for allegedly firing people of color following background checks.

Also, note that you have rights regarding criminal background checks. 

First of all, any potential employer must get your written permission before running a background check.

On top of that, they’re required to give you a copy of the results of the background check. 

You should also receive a “Summary of Rights,” which explains your rights and how to contact the background reporting company that ran the check.

What does an Amazon background check look for? 

The Amazon background check goes back seven years and covers criminal charges, including felony charges and misdemeanors.

When you complete the application to work for Amazon, you’ll be asked whether you’ve been convicted of a crime in the last seven years. 

It’s best to answer this question honestly, as the background check will uncover it anyway — so there’s no use lying.

But don’t freak out — you can get a chance to address the charges with your hiring manager if you make it to the interview stage.

Amazon may also check references and do a drug screening (more on that below).

Does Amazon drug test? 

Yes, Amazon does conduct a drug screening for many of their employees.

This is usually done after the in-person interview and may require a urine test or mouth swab test. 

Note that on top of a pre-hiring drug test, Amazon may do random drug screenings after you’re officially hired — so stay smart!

And the drug test policy still applies if you’re hired as an independent contractor as part of the Amazon Flex program

You also need to have a clean driving record to work for Amazon Flex.

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How to apply for jobs at Amazon with a criminal record

The good news is that applying for a job with Amazon is the same whether you have a criminal record or not. 

The first step is the online application process

You can start by searching for jobs based on title, keyword, and location.

Once you find a job you’re interested in, you can create a candidate profile covering details like your educational and work experience. 

You’ll also be prompted to upload a cover letter and a resume or CV.

You might have to complete an online assessment before being invited for a phone interview, followed by an in-person interview.

Check out Amazon for more information on the interview process.

We’ve also got a handy post on how to apply as an Amazon delivery driver and how much they tend to make. 

Driving for Amazon? See how Circuit Route Planner can help

You may have a hard time getting a job offer if you have a criminal record — but it isn’t impossible. 

Amazon is one company that gives people with a criminal past — including ex-felons — a second chance.

If you end up driving for Amazon, trust Circuit Route Planner to make your job easier. The route optimization tool uses GPS technology and real-time traffic data (thanks to integrations with tools like Google Maps) to map out fast delivery routes for you.

You can access your routes through the driver app on your mobile phone, helping you avoid annoying hurdles like traffic jams.

Plus, the app has other perks to make your driving job easier, including a package finder, proof of delivery, and delivery time window notifications for customers.

Want to finish work faster?

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Published29 August 2022
Updated30 August 2022
AuthorHeather Reinblatt
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About the author

Heather Reinblatt
Heather ReinblattContributor

Heather Reinblatt is a managing editor currently living in St. Louis, Missouri. She spends her free time reading, trying new recipes, and cuddling her cat Paisley. You can find Heather on LinkedIn.

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