The Kentucky Career Center is now offering a $5,000 six-month fidelity bond at no cost to employers or job seekers through a U.S. Department of Labor program that encourages hiring of hard-to-place applicants in eight categories, such as individuals with criminal records or those with poor credit records.
The Federal Bonding Program (FBP) allows employers to insure their business against theft, forgery, larceny or embezzlement if they hire at-risk job seekers who cannot get private coverage. The bond covers the first six months of employment and has no deductible so there is no out-of-pocket expense for businesses that participate. Employers also can purchase continued coverage if the worker demonstrates job honesty.
“Many private bonding companies will not bond job applicants who are qualified but at-risk, meaning the job seeker will not get hired. The Federal Bonding Program eliminates that barrier to employment for people who are trying to make a fresh start in their lives and careers,” said Michelle DeJohn, FBP coordinator with the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, which administers the program in Kentucky.
The bond does not cover liability due to poor workmanship, job injuries or work accidents, bail, contract or performance bonds, or license bonds for self-employment.
People in the following categories are eligible for the program:
individuals with criminal records;
individuals in recovery from substance use disorders;
public assistance recipients;
individuals with poor credit records;
economically disadvantaged youth and adults who lack stable work histories;
individuals dishonorably discharged from the military; and
anyone already employed who needs bonding to prevent termination or secure a transfer or promotion.
Bonds can be issued as soon as the applicant has a job offer and a scheduled start date. Workers must be paid wages with federal taxes automatically deducted from pay. Part-time and temporary workers are eligible for the program but not self-employed persons.
“This successful program has helped more than 40,000 individuals across the nation get hired with only a 1 percent default rate,” said DeJohn. “Plus, it has given employers in industries such as retail, construction and healthcare access to a large pool of job seekers while protecting their businesses.”
Bonds can be applied to any employer, employee or job, including people hired by temporary staffing agencies.