Understanding the Facts
about Hiring Returning Citizens
The term “returning citizen” is used to describe a person returning to the community after a period of incarceration. The incarceration could be a short time (one week to one year) or an extended period of time (more than one year).
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit available to employers that hire and retain veterans and individuals from target groups, including returning citizens, with significant barriers to employment. There is no limit to the number of individuals an employer can hire to qualify to claim the tax credit and there are only a few simple steps to follow to apply for the WOTC.
- If the individual works at least 120 hours, the employer may claim a tax credit equal to 25 percent of the individual’s first year wages, up to $2,400.
- If the individual works at least 400 hours, the employer may claim a tax credit equal to 40 percent of the individual’s first year wages, up to $2,400.
The maximum credit that an employer can claim may exceed these amounts depending on the other circumstances surrounding the employee. OrganizingTogether realizes that returning citizens will need more support than regular employees and want to work with businesses to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship that supports re-entry.
Our team offers one-on-one and company wide training on hiring returning citizens. This includes an overview of Federal Bonding, The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), Sensitivity and Mentorship Training, and everything you’ll need to know to successfully support the re-entry of returning citizens to your business/organization.
Our HR development specialists will support your human resources department in codifying standard procedures that will make the structure clear for the returning citizens and other employees. Our specialized curriculum comes with standard procedures that support a safe community.
There are great secondary resources to help aid returning citizens in finding services that cannot be provided by their employer. Check out our full resource list here.
“Proximity has taught me some basic and humbling truths, including this vital lesson: Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.“
-― Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption