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Does Trader Joe’s Hire Felons in 2021?

By Last update August 19, 2019
jobs for felons, company profile, Trader Joe's, retail, grcoery

Finding the right job can help you get your life back together, so let’s take a look at the question: Does Trader Joe’s hire felons?

Trader Joe’s is a retail and grocery store famous for their private label products, low prices and fun, nautical theme. If you enjoy customer service and working with the general public, let’s see what it takes to get a job at Trader Joe’s with a felony. We’ll look at the following questions, and more:

  • Does Trader Joe’s hire people with misdemeanors?
  • How do I apply?
  • Does Trader Joe’s do background checks?
  • Will my felony disqualify me?

We at Relaunch Pad know it can be difficult for former felons to find work. That’s why we directly contact companies and ask them if they hire former felons. We also do tons of research so that we can help you with the application and interview process. Are you wondering why we’re so invested? It’s because our team is mostly comprised of former felons and people who have worked with felons for a number of years. We’ve been there and know what it’s like. We also know what helps!

Now, without further delay, let’s find out how to get hired at Trader Joe’s with a felony record.

Does Trader Joe’s hire felons?

jobs for felons, company profile, Trader Joe's, retail, grocery stores
Attr: Wikimedia Commons. Maker:L,Date:2017-9-22,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E-ve

Official company policy for hiring felons

We contacted Trader Joe’s to ask if they hire former felons and this is what they had to say:

“Trader Joe’s is an equal opportunity employer that does not automatically disqualify anyone from working at the company based on a prior criminal conviction. If you have qualified candidates, please have them apply online at or at the store they would like to work.” ~ Bobby Kendall, Regional Vice President

Has Trader Joe’s hired felons in the past?

Sources confirm that Trader Joe’s has hired felons in the past.

Does Trader Joe’s hire people with misdemeanors?

Based on their company statement and our sources, Trader Joe’s will hire people with misdemeanors.

Is Trader Joe’s on the Ban the Box list?

If you’re wondering what the Ban the Box list is, it’s a list of companies that have agreed to remove the checkbox from their application that asks if you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony. The Fair Chance Business Pledge is also a part of this. Employers pledge to look past your criminal history and focus on your strengths and work ethic instead.

Trader Joe’s isn’t part of either initiative, but that’s okay because we know they’ll hire people with convictions. We also looked over their application and there wasn’t a box asking if we’ve been convicted of any crime.

Does Trader Joe’s have special programs for hiring felons?

Trader Joe’s doesn’t offer any special hiring programs for felons. If you’re interested in something like this, check out your local employment agency or workforce development office.

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

High likelihood of being hired with a felony

We give your odds of being hired at Trader Joe’s with a felony as high. While they aren’t on the Ban the Box list, the company is an equal opportunity employer and has hired felons in the past. The company representative encourages anyone to come in and fill out an application. Well, that’s the first step to an entry-level position!

What are some entry-level jobs?

The main entry-level position at Trader Joe’s is a crew member. Crew members run the cash register, stock shelves, bag groceries, keep the store clean and assist customers. Since the company is a retail and grocery store, having general skills in customer service, money handling, maintenance or inventory will come in handy. This will give you a great starting point for promotions and a long-term career with Trader Joe’s.

How to get hired at Trader Joe’s with a felony

So you’ve decided to get a job at Trader Joe’s, but aren’t sure how to get started because you have a felony. Don’t worry. We’re here to help.

You’ll want to begin by creating a strong resume, something that’ll stand out from the others. On your resume, be sure to list any past employers with their address and phone number, as well as your job title and job description.

Include any experience or training you have related to customer service, operating a cash register, stocking or keeping inventory of merchandise. Let them know if you picked up this experience or training at school, a previous job at a retail or grocery store or while in prison.

Have a friend read it over, checking for any spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors. And if you need extra help, we’ve got you covered with a resume guide designed specifically for felons or you can visit your local employment agency. Once you’re satisfied with your resume, you’re ready to fill out your application either online or in person.

Now that you’ve submitted your application and received a call back, it’s time to prepare for your interview. Look up interview questions pertaining to grocery and retail stores online. Have a family member or friend go over them with you. Practice makes perfect, right? Keep your resume handy to refer to while answering the questions.

Be honest about your past. Talk about what you learned while in prison. Tell the company representative about any community service or volunteer work you’ve done since you’ve been out. This will show them you haven’t just been sitting on your hands since your release and are serious about becoming a productive member of society again.

Above all else, don’t lie or try to hide anything about your conviction. You don’t want to risk losing your job offer or position because you weren’t being honest.

Does Trader Joe’s do background checks?

Online sources show Trader Joe’s won’t perform a traditional background check. But keep in mind that most companies will at least want to confirm you can legally work there.

Here’s what you need to know about background checks:

Background checks vary from state-to-state. The states on this list, for example, don’t consider information more than seven years old:

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

(* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require one.)

Great news! These states won’t look at anything where you were found not guilty:

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

However, the following states can and will see your entire record, including the not guilty verdicts:

  • 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 did some online digging to find out Trader Joe’s ratings. On, they have a great 4.2 out of 5 stars and 2,762 reviews. This is what a few past and current employees had to say about working at Trader Joe’s:


“Company cares about its employees.”

“Loved the work environment. My employees, managers (mates), and the Store Captain were all supportive and brought great energy to our job every day.”

“-Good Hours -Awesome staff -Fun environment -Good Food”


“Very Physically Exhausting”

“On your feet all day and move fast on the weekends”

“Physical work that if not done properly could take a toll on your body”

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

Does Trader Joe’s hire felons? Yes, they do, but there are certain felonies that might hurt your chances. Since you’ll be working directly with customers, if your record includes felonies for violent crimes, drug charges or theft, you may have a hard time getting hired at Trader Joe’s.

Does Trader Joe’s drug test?

Our sources aren’t consistent on whether or not Trader Joe’s will drug test. In that case, we suggest you move forward as if they do.

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

Here’s your chance to help our community. Did the information in this article help you get a job at Trader Joe’s with a felony? We’d love to hear about it. You could help others who are in the same situation.

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Leah Smith
Reentry Educator

Leah is a Reentry Educator with The Relaunch Pad. A recovering addict and mother of three, her two oldest adult children are dealing with their own addictions and problems, one being recently released from prison and the other is currently incarcerated. Her goal is to give hope to not only her own children, but to others in similar situations.