If you’re a former felon living in the Eastern US, you’ve probably wondered, does Wawa hire felons? You know convenience stores and gas stations are often looking for workers, so why not Wawa? They have locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and Washington, D.C.
For those of you who are wondering if you can get a job at Wawa with a felony, you’ve come to the right place! At Successful Release, we contact companies directly to ask them if they hire felons, and then share their responses with you. We also do background research on the company to get a well-rounded idea of what you can expect when you apply.
Why? Because we know that finding a job when you have a record is a huge challenge. In fact, most of our team members are former offenders or professionals who’ve worked with felons in re-entry programs.
We know first-hand what you’re up against. That’s why we’re committed to researching companies like Wawa and finding answers to questions like:
- Does Wawa hire people with misdemeanors?
- Is it worth my time to apply here?
- Does Wawa do background checks?
- What kind of felonies might disqualify me from working here?
Not only will we answer these questions, we’ll give you tips for handling the application and interview process as well.
Ready to learn more about how to get hired at Wawa with a felony record?
Let’s get started. . .
Does Wawa hire felons?
Official company policy for hiring felons
When we checked with Wawa to see what their policy is for hiring former felons, we got this response:
“We review each applicant individually based upon merits, skills and qualifications.”
Their careers page, however, had a more thorough statement:
“Wawa, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. Wawa maintains a work environment in which Associates are treated fairly and with respect and in which discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. In accordance with federal, state and local laws, we recruit, hire, promote and evaluate all applicants and Associates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation or preference, gender identity or expression, citizenship status, disability, veteran or military status, genetic information, domestic or sexual violence victim status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Unlawful discrimination will not be a factor in any employment decision.”
Does this mean they’re open to hiring former offenders? Not necessarily. EEOC guidelines allow employers to choose not to hire applicants based on their background. However, the employer must cite an event in the applicant’s background that’s directly related to the position they’re applying for.
With that in mind, keep reading. We’re going to dig deeper and see what we can find out.
Has Wawa hired felons in the past?
When we asked Wawa if they’ve hired felons in the past, they told us that information was confidential.
We didn’t find any information in our research that confirms Wawa has hired felons in the past. Most of the information we reviewed, such as statements from employees online, suggests it’s unlikely.
Does Wawa hire people with misdemeanors?
As you can see, their company statement doesn’t really tell us if they’re willing to hire people with misdemeanors. They did let us know they ask about convictions on their application. We weren’t able to find a copy of the application form online to see how those questions are presented, unfortunately.
Further research suggests there is a very low chance someone with a misdemeanor will get hired here. The majority of the information we found seems to indicate any criminal record will make it difficult to get a job with Wawa. However, if they really do “review each applicant individually,” they may be willing to consider you, depending on your charge.
Is Wawa on the Ban the Box list?
What is Ban the Box? It’s an initiative employers can join which says they’ll follow fair hiring practices regarding people who were formerly incarcerated. These companies also commit to encouraging others to practice fair hiring procedures. This same kind of commitment is found in the Fair Chance Business Pledge. Part of this pledge involves delaying questions about an applicant’s criminal record “until later in the hiring process.”
None of the information we reviewed connected Wawa with either initiative.
The fact that they ask questions about convictions on their application suggests a lack of participation with these efforts.
Does Wawa have special programs for hiring felons?
Wawa let us know that they don’t have a special program in place for hiring felons.
What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?
After extensive research, we believe your odds of getting hired at Wawa with a felony are uncertain, at best.
The statement they gave us is unclear, and the information we came across in our research makes it seem unlikely.
Again, there’s the possibility they truly consider each applicant on an individual basis. If this is the case, you may have a chance of getting hired here if your offense was relatively minor.
What are some entry-level jobs?
Their main entry level job is the Customer Service Associate position. Because of the nature of working in a convenience store, you could be asked to take on any number of responsibilities. According to the job description on their site, these include:
- Food preparation
- Cash register duties
- Customer service
- General housekeeping
(Locations in New Jersey also hire Fuel Associates to provide customer service at the fuel kiosks.)
If hired for one of these positions, you may eventually be able to grow into a supervisor or manager.
How to get hired at Wawa with a felony
Now that we know more about Wawa, let’s look at some strategies for getting a job here. One of the first things you can do is put together a great resume. Here are some tips on what to include:
- Highlight relevant work experience. In this case, retail or customer service experience is a huge plus.
- What skills did you gain from your previous jobs? Running a register, doing inventory or general customer service skills will go a long way for you here.
- Make sure your resume looks professional. Your local career center will probably have some great resources for you.
Once your resume opens the door for you, you’ll move on to the interview stage. Here are some tips for making the most of your interview with Wawa:
- Now that you have a choice in what you wear, be sure to choose clothes that show you’re serious about getting this job. If you aren’t sure your clothing is appropriate, check out business attire charities or rental agencies.
- Be sure to cover any tattoos you can. These can be a distraction or send the wrong message. Help them make their decision based on your qualifications, not your ink.
- You may have picked up certain mannerisms or ways of speaking that helped you survive in prison. Many people do. Try not to bring those into the interview with you.
- Focus on being respectful and enthusiastic. Tell them you appreciate the opportunity to meet with them, and show interest by paying attention and asking questions.
- Be confident. You’re here because you believe you can do this job well. Make sure you communicate that by giving examples of what you’ll bring to the team. For example, “It looks like you guys stay really busy! My job at ______ was the same way. I learned how to work at all of the different stations so I could help out wherever they needed me.”
- Remember, you have a chance to set the tone here, so make sure it’s an optimistic one. Come in excited and ready to work and that’ll go a long way with the interviewer.
Does Wawa do background checks?
Everything we’ve read tells us Wawa will do a background check when you apply. It sounds like it will probably occur early in the hiring process. Some former employees have said their background check was completed before they had a phone interview.
What you need to know about background checks:
Not all background checks are created equal. In some states, if your offense is over seven years old, it won’t show up on a regular background check. Here’s a list of those states:
- New Hampshire*
- New York*
(* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require a more thorough background screening).
Other states won’t hold cases against you where you were found not guilty. Here are the states on this list:
- New York
Other states will look at your entire record, including not guilty verdicts. Here’s a list of those states:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
We spent some time looking online to see what employees had to say about Wawa. The reviews on glassdoor.com tended to be very positive (3.7 out of 5 stars). Almost 75% of employees said they would recommend the company to a friend. Over 2,000 employees have posted reviews on indeed.com. These reviews are also very positive (4 out of 5 stars).
What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?
Does Wawa hire felons? Our research indicates it could be difficult for former felons to get a job here. And, because the Customer Service Associate position requires a lot of public interaction, these felonies may make it even more challenging:
- Felonies involving theft, since you will be handling a lot of money.
- Violent felonies, since you will be dealing with difficult people in a fast-paced environment.
- Sex offenses, since you will be dealing with a lot of families.
Our goal is to let you know about felonies which may raise red flags during background checks. We cannot say conclusively that people with these types of felonies will not get hired at Wawa. Nor do we condone stereotyping people based on their past mistakes.
Does Wawa drug test?
Most of the employee statements we read say Wawa won’t drug test unless they’re suspicious about an employee being under the influence. However, there were a couple of reviews which said they do drug testing. In the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry and make sure you stay sober either way.
Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!
If you’re a former offender who’s worked with Wawa, please let us know! We’re especially interested in any tips you might have that could help others get a job at Wawa with a felony.
We want to help you in any way we can, and we value your feedback!