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Does Instacart Hire Felons? Read This Before Applying

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Key Takeaways

  • Instacart may hire felons, evaluating applications on a case-by-case basis.
  • Serious offenses, especially related to violence or fraud, often disqualify applicants.
  • Instacart’s inclusive hiring approach may offer a second chance for minor offenses.
  • Alternatives and resources exist for those with felonies seeking employment opportunities.

Does Instacart Hire Felons?

Yes, Instacart may hire convicted felons because it doesn’t have a policy that explicitly bans it.

However, your chances of landing a job in Instacart will be significantly lower with a felony on your criminal record. The company runs background checks to screen potential employees, so any felonies or misdemeanors in your criminal history will show up.

The reason why it’s so thorough with its checks is that Instacart promises a safe environment for its employees and customers alike.

But don’t fret; Instacart evaluates applicants on a case-by-case basis, and it might overlook your felony if it’s minor. Plus, the hiring team may accept a felon if it’s been years since conviction or your criminal history is clean except for this crime.

Instacart even embraces an inclusive hiring process that promises a second chance for felons.

Instacart Disqualifying Factors for Convicted Felons

To understand whether you have a chance to work at Instacart, you should have an idea of disqualifying factors and crime types.

Some felonies will automatically disqualify you for their violent or fraudulent nature. That’s because employers need to hire someone they can trust in the work environment and when dealing with consumers.

These felonies include:

  • Robbery or burglary convictions
  • Murder
  • Arson
  • Sexual offense convictions
  • Pornography
  • Drug trafficking or manufacturing convictions
  • Violent crime convictions
  • Theft and white-collar convictions
  • Firearms offenses
  • Extortion
  • Larceny

In some cases, such as a DUI, the hiring team will evaluate your driving records instead of outright rejecting you. If you have one DUI offense, you might get hired as a driver for Instacart.

But some factors like a recent DUI, multiple DUIs on your record, or an invalid license or car insurance could disqualify you.

Additionally, there are strict requirements to meet when you apply for a job position at Instacart. So, if the following points don’t apply to you, whether or not you’re a felon, you could be disqualified as well:

  • Age is 18 or older
  • Legal ability to work in the United States (or whatever country you live in)
  • Ability to lift 40 pounds
  • A smartphone where the Instacart app works smoothly
  • A phone number that’s always available and a Social Security Number
  • A reliable vehicle for delivery drivers (registered and insured)
  • Passing the background check

Instacart’s Second Chance Policy

Were you an Instacart shopper but got your account deactivated for committing a felony or breaking one of the company’s rules? Instacart has a forgiving rehire policy that promises a second chance!

This policy works hand-in-hand with Instacart’s diversity and inclusion initiative. Besides considering individuals from various races and religions, it also takes people with criminal pasts into account.

But how does Instacart’s rehire policy work?

Unfortunately, there aren’t any official details about the approach the company takes to conduct its second chance policy. The rehiring process is up to Instacart’s discretion, and, much like hiring a felon in the first place, it’s a case-by-case scenario.

Account Deactivation Causes

While working for Instacart, some actions may lead to the deactivation of your account. Common causes for deactivation include:

  • Shopping with someone else: Instacart doesn’t allow shoppers to have a child, friend, or any other person while they’re on a shift.
  • Stealing: Committing theft will automatically deactivate your account if you’ve been caught.
  • Selling alcohol to minors: Besides facing trouble with Instacart, you’ll be breaking the law.
  • Reliability problems: Late delivery or other incidents where you don’t adhere to Instacart’s shopping quality standards reduce your reliability.
  • Bad ratings or customer complaints: Receiving too many complaints speaks volumes of poor performance and might jeopardize your job.

Felonies and Other Situations That Instacart Might Consider for Rehiring

Here are a few examples of minor felonies or other cases that may be considered under this policy:

  • Being wrongly accused of theft (you must have proof)
  • Getting a DUI once while driving for Instacart
  • Creating multiple Instacart shopper accounts
  • Being inactive for a long while

However, committing serious offenses, like a violent crime, may stand against reactivating your account.

How to Apply for Instacart’s Rehire Policy

The process might slightly vary based on the reason for deactivation. Below are the general steps you should take to apply for the rehire policy:

  • Appeal deactivation by contacting shopper support or replying to the deactivation email.
  • Don’t forget to attach any evidence that supports your claims (if you’ve been accused by mistake).
  • Use Instacart’s help center to inform your agent that you’d like to work again for Instacart.
  • Wait for the hiring team’s evaluation results, which could take six months.

Exceptions to the Hiring Process

Even though it’s unlikely that Instacart will hire a convicted felon, some exceptions might help your case once you apply for a job. Working for Instacart can be worth the effort, so don’t hesitate to prove your competence despite your felony.

The first exception is the time that passed since the crime. Seven to ten years is the minimum, especially since most background checks go as far back as ten years.

However, the type of crime itself may affect the final decision. If it’s a violent one like murder, sexual assault, or similar offenses, the age of the felony might not be significant.

Another exception is if you’ve gone through rehabilitation for a duration that the hiring team believes is sufficient. You must have documents with details of your rehab period to include them while applying for a position at Instacart.

Other exceptions to the hiring process involve:

  • Proof of excellent behavior in previous jobs (like recommendation letters and work-related references)
  • Taking the time to look presentable in a face-to-face situation (covering tattoos or removing piercings until you’re sure that the company allows it)
  • Offering a resume to show your seriousness and commitment (even if Instacart doesn’t request it)

Steps for Applicants with Felonies

If you’re ready to take your chances with the grocery delivery company, you must learn the right way to apply with a felony on your record. Here are the actionable steps you should follow for a smooth application process:

Step 1: Fill out the Online Form and Download the App

The first step is the same whether or not you’re a felon.

Start by visiting the Instacart website, choosing the shopper signup option, and providing your personal details. The application form will ask you to fill in your name, email, phone number, and zip code.

After completing all the steps to create your Instacart account, you’ll have to download the app from the Play Store or App Store.

To set up the account on the Instacart app, you’ll include further information, like your bank account details and a picture of your driver’s license.

Step 2: Pass the Criminal Background Check

The company will then conduct a background check to see if any crimes will show up on your record. This stage usually takes up to ten days, then the people at Instacart will contact you via email.

You won’t have to take any further steps if the email says that you’ve been accepted or rejected.

But if the team is still considering your case, they’ll explicitly say so, contacting you to learn more about your situation.

Step 3: Be Honest with Instacart’s Representatives

When the hiring agent calls or emails you, you need to be truthful about your past convictions. If not, your mere dishonesty could lead to disqualification because it’s easy to verify the truth via the background check.

It’s also important to highlight how you’ve changed, detailing any steps you’ve taken for the better. This includes rehab, therapy, or any volunteering work you’ve done to help your community.

Back up your claims with documents to boost your credibility.

The company will then evaluate your case based on your circumstances and contact you once more for their final decision. If they hire you, you can then begin shopping for Instacart and start making money as a full-service shopper or care agent.

Instacart Alternatives for Those Who Don’t Qualify

You can apply to a competitor if the odds aren’t in your favor with Instacart. Many companies are famous for offering second chances for people with a criminal past.

Whether you’re looking for a full-time job or a gig position, you might find the right match from this felony-friendly employer list:

  • McDonald’s: The fast food franchise values skill and performance, ready to overlook a criminal past if you’re committed to your job roles.
  • Home Depot: Having signed the Ban the Box initiative, Home Depot welcomes ex-felons. However, it might reject an applicant for serious crimes, like sexual assault or violent offenses.
  • Amazon: For a higher chance of being hired, you’d best apply for a warehouse position at the popular eCommerce company. Then, after proving your competence, you can advance in job roles.
  • IKEA: This is another company that can accept ex-felons after evaluating their criminal record. You’ll only need to show them the measures you’ve taken to change.
  • Uber: If you’re looking for a reliable side hustle, Uber is a fantastic example of a company that doesn’t mind hiring felons. Based on location, it may even give you access to training programs to help you make the most of your job.

Resources for People with Felonies

Are you still venturing into job-hunting territory as a felon and don’t know where to begin?

Here’s a list of resources that can help you navigate the employment world and aid you in understanding your rights:

1. Federal Bonding Program

The Federal Bonding Program is an initiative that helps reduce the risks that come with hiring a felon. This way, it boosts your chances of being accepted by employers.

It offers companies insurance policies that protect them from theft, forgery, or similar crimes.

2. Career Planning for People with a Criminal Conviction

This online resource is a Minnesota State creation.

Its goal is to provide people with felony convictions and other criminal charges with solid information about setting their career goals.

It focuses on expanding your skills, exploring the job market, and widening your horizons as a job seeker.

3. Felony Record Hub

If you want an all-around resource to help felons come back into society, look no further than the Felony Record Hub.

Besides giving you advice about finding job opportunities, the hub aids you with any legal matters that might concern you. It also has information about housing programs, insurance and finance rights, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to a couple of questions that you might have about the process of applying to Instacart as a felon.

Does Instacart Require a Social Security Number?

Yes, Instacart requires several personal details for identity verification, including your Social Security Number, a photo of your driver’s license, a photo of you, and your bank account details for direct deposit purposes if you are hired.

Does Instacart Verify Employment?

Yes, Instacart verifies employment, allowing you to use this verification for purposes like applying for a student loan.

Other reasons Instacart shoppers may need this verification involve tax filing, rental leases, and government aid applications.

To get this verification, visit the Instacart income verification page and enter your phone number.

Final Thoughts: Navigating Employment Opportunities with a Felony Record

With a felony on your criminal record, you may be unsure if Instacart will hire you.

There isn’t a policy against hiring ex-felons. Yet, Instacart evaluates each applicant based on their criminal past, the nature of offenses, and the time that passed since committing them.

The most important thing is to be honest about your conviction when they ask you about it. You should also provide evidence that helps your case, like if you’ve gone to rehab.

Finding a position at Instacart or other companies as a felon requires hard work and dedication, but it’s not impossible. Consider using government-aided programs like the Federal Bonding Program or online resources to re-enter society with confidence.

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