VANCOUVER, Wash. - For ten years, ten long and troubled years, Ray Schneider from Vancouver did very little but cause problems for society.
He was involved in cases that included a stolen vehicle, burglary tools, stolen property, harming a police dog and attempting to elude a police officer. He has multiple felony convictions.
“I do have a long history,” Schneider said.
KATU News even covered one of Schneider’s police chases behind the Vancouver Mall in 2007. A police car overturned and an officer was injured in that incident.
Today, he lives with his grandparents since his release from jail less than a year ago. This December, he applied for, and landed, a $9-an-hour job collecting donations for the Salvation Army.
He held on to that job for three weeks.
“Out of the blue, I get fired for being a felon. Even though I had already put that I’m a felon on the initial application,” Schneider said.
He's now demanding more than $1,000, money he would've been paid if he worked the whole season, saying the Salvation Army discriminated against him.
In light of his extensive record, Schneider admits he’d be a tough call to hire for a job but faults the Salvation Army for not checking into his background before giving him the bell ringer's job.
“I definitely think you wouldn't hire me, you would do more of an investigation into who you're hiring, before you hired them and caught a mistake three weeks later,” he said.
The Salvation Army says it was no mistake. They claim Schneider told the interviewer his felonies were for meth. Drug charges are usually OK for bell ringers.
But theft convictions are another story.
The Salvation Army interviewer never asked about his theft convictions, Schneider said.
Schneider said it took three weeks to let him go because that's when his full criminal background check was finished.
The Salvation Army said it has no plans to rehire Schneider.
In Washington, it is not illegal to use a worker's criminal record against them if the person's history might affect their job performance.