If you’re a former felon looking for work in Missouri, you may have asked yourself: Does Break Time hire felons?
Break Time is a chain of convenience stores owned by MFA Oil Company with locations across Missouri, and one in DeValls Bluff Arkansas. According to their website, their goal is to provide service that proves “not all convenience stores are the same.” Sound like a team you might want to join? Keep reading. As it turns out, it may be harder to get a job at Break Time with a felony than you might think . . .
Not only will this article answer whether or not Break Time hires felons, we’ll also answer questions like:
- Does Break Time hire people with misdemeanors?
- Does Break Time do background checks?
- How can I find out where they’re hiring?
- Will my felony disqualify me?
It’s an unfortunate fact that one of the biggest challenges former offenders face after prison is finding work. That’s why we contact companies directly and ask them if they hire former felons. We want to make the job search process as simple as possible for you. Why? Our team is made up mostly of former felons and people who’ve worked with re-entry programs in the past. We know the struggle of finding employment after prison first-hand.
At Successful Release, we’re committed to helping former felons live a normal life.
With that in mind, let’s dive in and look at how to get hired at Break Time with a felony.
Does Break Time hire felons?
Official company policy for hiring felons
When we contacted Break Time to ask them about their policy for hiring former felons, they sent us this response:
We do not have any programs in place designed to provide work to former offenders. MFA Oil has several different divisions and each division handles offenders differently. On the Break Time side of things, due to the Missouri State Lottery Statute, we are unable to hire anyone with a prior felony conviction. As a general rule for our other divisions, we require 7 years to lapse since a felony conviction and 5 for a misdemeanor; however, it depends on how the offense would tie into the position.
The Missouri State Lottery Statute they referenced says:
“(1) No person shall be licensed as a lottery game retailer who— (A) Has been convicted of a felony[.]”
So, in short, the answer is no. Break Time is unable to hire former felons in Missouri because their employees must be able to sell lottery tickets.
With that being said, it’s possible that a former felon could work at their Arkansas location, as the Missouri State Lottery Statute wouldn’t apply there.
Has Break Time hired felons in the past?
Based on their policy, the answer is most likely no.
Does Break Time hire people with misdemeanors?
It is entirely possible that they will consider hiring people with misdemeanors. Their reason for not hiring felons is that it conflicts with the day-to-day operations of their stores. However, there’s no conflict with the Lottery Statute when it comes to misdemeanors. And since Break Time is an EEOC employer, unless your offense conflicts with the position you’re applying for, you should be considered just like anyone else. Just be aware that their statement implies that you may need to wait until five years after your misdemeanor conviction to apply.
Is Break Time on the Ban the Box list?
The Ban the Box Campaign is an effort to remove questions about felony convictions from application forms. Similarly, the Fair Chance Business Pledge is a way for employers to show their willingness to give former felons a second chance. Companies that ban the box or take the Pledge are committed to delaying questions about an applicant’s criminal record so people with records have a better chance at the job.
We weren’t able to find any connection between Break Time and either of these movements. However, that’s not a surprise considering their statement.
Does Break Time have special programs for hiring felons?
No, they do not.
What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?
Based on their company policy, and our additional research, we believe your odds of getting hired at Break Time with a felony are low. We’re not sure about their location in Arkansas, but it seems highly unlikely a former felon would be hired at one of their Missouri locations.
Being an EEOC company means that people with misdemeanors could be hired here. Their statement also makes it clear that it’s possible for former felons to work within other divisions of MFA Oil Company. However, you’ll probably want to wait seven years after your felony conviction.
What are some entry-level jobs?
According to their jobs site, the main entry-level position at Break Time is the role of Sales Associate. Since they’re in the convenience store business, they’re looking for people with great customer service skills and retail experience. You’ll be expected to greet customers, run the register and keep the store clean and well-stocked.
Break Time also prides themselves on promoting from within. So, if you’re able to get in the door as a Sales Associate, you may be able to step into a Shift Lead or Assistant Manager position along the way. You can find a list of their current openings here.
How to get hired at Break Time with a felony
Ultimately, unless you’re applying at their Arkansas location, you probably won’t be able to get a job at Break Time with a felony. However, if you only have a misdemeanor on your record, Break Time could be a great option for you. Let’s go over some tips to help you land the job.
First, we recommend that you spend some time working on your resume:
- Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. Focus on any relevant work experience you have, as well as the skills you have that make you the perfect fit for this job. Have you worked in retail before? Mention it! Do you have customer service experience? Highlight that too!
- Once you’ve figured out the best job experiences and skills to include, get some help perfecting your resume. Your local career center staff can be a huge help in making sure that your resume will stand out and look professional. And that means that you will stand out when the manager at Break Time looks over your resume!
Now that your resume has gotten the attention of the hiring manager, it’s time for the interview. Don’t panic! Instead, try taking these next steps:
- Dress like you’re ready to work. Break Time employees usually wear their red polo shirts and dress slacks. So, when you head in for the interview, put on a nice polo and dress slacks too. To really impress, wear shoes you can comfortably stand in for a full eight-hour shift.
- Go in with confidence and a smile. Friendliness and great customer service are a couple of the ways the staff at Break Time are expected to stand out from employees at other convenience stores. Use your first impression to show them you’re all about great customer service.
- Be direct. Be ready to answer any questions they might have, even if they ask about your background. Remember, there’s more to who you are than the worst thing you ever did. Answer any questions about your background with an emphasis on how you’ve changed and improved your life since that time.
- Watch your language. If you ended up spending any time in prison, you may have picked up some bad habits of cussing or using prison slang. Leave those out of the interview.
- Likewise, if you have any potentially offensive tattoos, keep them covered up. This will help the interviewer focus on your qualifications, instead of your body art.
- Make eye contact and ask questions that show you’re engaged throughout the interview. Share stories from your previous work experiences that show the interviewer you’re the perfect person for the job.
Also, keep in mind that if you come in with a great attitude and a willingness to learn and to work hard, you’re bound to stand out from other applicants!
Does Break Time do background checks?
Yes. Because the Lottery Statute plays such a huge role in who they can and cannot hire, it’s extremely likely that all applicants will go through a background check.
Here’s what you need to know about background checks:
There are several states that only show your criminal record for the past seven years on a background check. Check them out here:
- New Hampshire*
- New York*
*sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require one.
If you were found not guilty or the charges were dropped, these states don’t show it:
- Indiana (limited check)
- New York
An unfortunate majority of states want to see your whole background, though. Look below to see if your state is on this list:
- Indiana (intensive check)
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Pay attention to Missouri and Arkansas in this section to see what Break Time will look for on background checks in those states.
We decided to take a closer look at how current and former employees feel about working at Break Time/MFA Oil. When we looked at glassdoor.com, we saw that they have a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. Of those employees who left reviews, over half (59%) said they’d recommend the company to a friend.
What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?
As we mentioned in the Does Break Time hire felons? section above, it’s highly unlikely any former felon will find work with Break Time. Their policy simply doesn’t allow any leeway here.
However, for those of you with more minor offenses, you’ll find it harder with records that include:
- Theft or fraud
- Property damage
- Violent behavior
Does Break Time drug test?
Yes. Along with identifying themselves as an EEOC employer, Break Time also makes it clear on their jobs site that they’re a Drug-Free Workplace. This means that they’re likely to have very strict drug test practices in place.
Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!
If you’ve had any experience working with Break Time in the past, we’d love to hear from you.
Do you have advice for someone with a misdemeanor who’s considering applying at Break Time? Is so, please leave a comment below.