Back to list

Does JCPenney Hire Felons in 2021?

By Last update November 6, 2019
does JCPenney hire felons as sales associates

JCPenney is a major retail store with locations all across the country. They provide many job opportunities, but does JCPenney hire felons?

At Relaunch Pad, we understand that searching for a new job can be difficult for former felons. That’s why we go directly to employers to ask them upfront about their policy for hiring former felons. 

We also make a point of staffing former felons and job market experts to better improve our information.

In addition to asking about specific company policies, we also cover other questions that might be on the minds of former felons. This includes the following:

  • Does JCPenney do background checks?
  • Will JCPenney test for drugs?
  • Does JCPenney hire people with misdemeanors?

There’s plenty to find out, so read on to learn more about JCPenney’s approach to hiring!

Does JCPenney hire felons?

does JCPenney hire felons as sales associates
Attr: WikiMedia Commons; Author: Jon Konrath

Official company policy for hiring felons

As always, we went right to JCPenney to ask them about their hiring policies. Unfortunately, they have not yet responded to our requests for information. We will follow-up with the hopes of updating our information.

While we have not gotten any concrete information on the guidelines they follow when making a hire, it doesn’t look like they have a specific policy against hiring former felons.

Has JCPenney hired felons in the past?

From what we have gathered, it looks like JCPenney has hired former felons in the past. While we don’t know the circumstances through which this happened, we do know it means that it’s possible to get a job at JCPenney with a felony.

Does JCPenney hire people with misdemeanors?

Reports say that JCPenney has hired people with misdemeanors in the past.

Is JCPenney on the Ban the Box list?

The Ban the Box list is a movement that is designed to remove questions about an applicant’s criminal history from job applications. The point is to make it so that candidates are evaluated based on their experience, rather than on past mistakes.

There is also the Fair Chance Business Pledge. Businesses that sign this oath make a promise that they will not discriminate in their hiring policies — even against former offenders.

Unfortunately, JCPenney is not associated with either movement. This isn’t entirely bad news. There are lots of companies that will hire former felons that may not have even heard of these initiatives.

All this means is that JCPenney has not made a public statement about their willingness to hire former felons.

Does JCPenney have special programs for hiring felons?

Some companies also have special programs that are specifically intended to help former felons get hired.

Unfortunately, JCPenney does not currently have any.

What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?

Average likelihood of being hired with a felony

To this point, we’ve learned that JCPenney doesn’t seem to have any policies against hiring former felons. We’ve even found evidence that they have hired former felons in the past!

And, while it is unfortunate that they are not associated with the ban the Box Movement or the Fair Chance Business Pledge, nothing we have learned about the company shows that they’re against hiring people that have a record.

So, does JCPenney hire felons?

Right now, we can safely say that your chances are average. This rating might change when we hear back from them, of course. It definitely seems possible to get a job at JCPenney with a felony.

What are some entry-level jobs?

We have also taken a look at a few of JCPenney’s entry-level jobs. Most of their starting positions are in their retail stores. They have many positions for clerks, warehouse staff and even call center agents.

Though hours may vary from location to location, it seems that most of their shifts are pretty standard to the world of retail. Many of their stores seem to be open from 10 AM to 10 PM, with shifts every day of the week.

JCPenney also hires out for executive positions, but these jobs are usually reserved for candidates with a background and education in business.

How to get hired at JCPenney with a felony

Anytime you are trying to get hired somewhere, the first thing you’ll want to do is write a really good resume or application. The same will be true as you prepare to apply at JCPenney. Their application process actually starts by joining what they call their “Talent Network”. In other words, you start out by making an account with them online.

After that, the process will be pretty familiar. You will need to create a personalized resume loaded with information that is relevant to the job you are applying for. In this case, that means highlighting retail experience.

However, any customer service position will do. For example, handling customers as a server. And, If you had a customer service-oriented job in prison, you can even feel free to list that. This may help put a positive spin on your incarceration by showing your potential employer your time away was rehabilitating.

If you’re uncomfortable writing a resume, we have an awesome resource for you. Check out our guide on writing resumes as a former felon.

Career centers are great resources for people that are struggling with their job hunt as well.

If you’re looking for more help with the interview, we’ve got some tips for you too. To nail this part of the process, show up in professional attire. JCPenney sells clothing, so they may pay particular attention to what you wear.

You will also want to cover up any tattoos or piercings until you know their store policy. Some employers may unfairly worry about the professionalism of candidates with records, so it’s crucial that you don’t give them any reason to doubt you.

Above else, though, just try to be calm and relaxed. You’ll do much better in the interview if you can let your natural personality shine!

Does JCPenney do background checks?

It looks like JCPenney does background checks for all of their positions before they finalize a hire.

However, you should know that background checks are different depending on where you live.

For example, if you live in one of these states, JCPenney will only see things that happened in the last seven years:

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

*Pay bracket may impact what a potential employer sees on your record.

There are also some states that won’t include information about crimes you weren’t found guilty of. Here are those states:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana (limited check)
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

Unfortunately, though, there are still many states that include everything in their background checks, even crimes that you were not found guilty of. If you live in any of these places, JCPenney will see your entire record:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana (extensive check)
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Company ratings

We also went online to find out what it is like to work at JCPenney. Glassdoor.com, for example, gives them a 3 out of 5 star rating.

The highest rating was 3.2 for company culture. The lowest rating was 2.7 for senior management.

What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?

There are certain convictions that might be weighed more heavily against you here. For example, most customer service jobs don’t look kindly upon violent or sexual offenses.

And, since JCPenney is a retail store, they may also be hesitant to hire people with a history of theft.

Does JCPenney drug test?

From what we can tell, JCPenney does not drug test.

Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!

If you have experience with JCPenney we want to hear from you. Did our guide help you figure out how to get hired at JCPenney? Tell us what you know so we can improve our information.

Relaunch Pad Logo

Paul is a Reentry Educator with The Relaunch Pad who lives in the midwest. He has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and is dedicated to providing accurate and insightful information to former offenders who are seeking employment.