Fidelity Bonding Program
The Fidelity Bonding Program gives employers the peace of mind to safely provide job opportunities to all individuals with limited risk. The Fidelity Bonding Program was created to assist high-risk, but qualified, job seekers who have bona fide offers of employment. Typically, some employers may view ex-offenders, former substance abusers, and other individuals who have questionable backgrounds as high-risk and potentially untrustworthy workers. With the Fidelity Bonding Program, employers can bond job seekers who are facing barriers to employment for the first six months on the job.
What is a Fidelity Bond?
The Fidelity Bond covers job seekers who are considered high-risk due to factors in their personal backgrounds and who have been rejected by a commercial bonding company. It protects employers from any loss of money or property incurred as a result of dishonesty by high-risk workers.
The Fidelity Bonding Program is sponsored by the Talent Investment Agency, State of Michigan. It provides a business insurance policy from the Traveler's Casualty and Surety Company of America; referred to hereafter as TRAVELERS. It protects an employer against dishonest acts of theft, larceny, forgery and embezzlement committed by a bonded employee. Fidelity Bonds provide 100% insurance coverage and have no deductible; the employer is fully protected against losses resulting from employee dishonesty. Bond insurance coverage ranges from $5,000 to $25,000 for a six-month period. As an incentive to hire members of a targeted population, employers receive the bond coverage FREE OF CHARGE for the first six months of employment by the bonded employee. At that time, the employer can extend the bond insurance coverage by contacting Union Insurance Group (UIG). Bonding coverage after the initial six months continues at the employer’s expense.
How does the Fidelity Bond work?
- Bond coverage is based on the value of the property at risk
- Bonds issued range from amounts of $5,000 to $25,000, in increments of $5,000
- Bond insurance carries no deductible amounts
- Bond insurance becomes effective on the employee's first day of employment
- The Fidelity Bond is mailed directly to the employer
- Bond insurance expires after six months. However, the employer may purchase continued coverage.
Who is covered by the Fidelity Bond?
Fidelity Bonding assists those who cannot be commercially bonded, including the following types of job seekers:
- Individuals with poor credit records including bankruptcies
- Economically disadvantaged youth and adults who lack a work history
- Welfare assistance recipients
- Recovering substance abusers
- Dishonorably discharged from military service
- Youth in apprenticeships
- Individuals 18 years or older
What is not covered by the Fidelity Bond?
The Fidelity Bonding Program does not cover the following:
- Liability due to poor workmanship, job injuries, or work accidents
- Bail bonds or court bonds for the legal system
- Contract bonds, performance bonds, or license bonds for the self-employed
How to obtain a Fidelity Bond
- The employer must offer 30 hours or more per week full-time employment for six consecutive months with the stipulation that the high-risk job seeker needs to be bonded.
- The employer must type a “Letter of Employment” on its letterhead that includes the following:
- The name, address, city, state, and zip code of the job seeker
- The date that employment was offered
- Job title, rate of pay, and conditions of work, i.e., job duties/responsibilities
- The statement must appear verbatim, i.e., word-for-word “employment is conditional upon the worker receiving a fidelity bond.”
- The amount of bonding needed must be stated: $5,000; $10,000; $15,000; $20,000; or $25,000
- Justification of why more bonding is needed if over $5,000
- Must state that employment is full-time (30 or more hours every week for at least six consecutive months; no independent contracting or self-employment)
- The starting date the job will begin
- The original signature of the person who has the authority to hire the job seeker. Typed underneath the signature is the name and position of the hiring authority.
- The employer must automatically deduct federal taxes from the job seeker’s wages
- The employer will receive Fidelity Bond from the bonding insurance company within 3 weeks
- Obtain a job offer from an employer
- Visit your local Michigan Works! Agency and meet with the Michigan Works! Bonding Coordinator
- Bonding Coordinator will give a Fidelity Bonding Checklist to the job seeker
- Return to employer with the Fidelity Bonding Check for the employer to complete.
Michigan Works! Agency
- Michigan Works! Bonding Coordinator meets with job seeker and provides checklist to be completed by the employer
- Michigan Works! Bonding Coordinator with begin bonding process as soon as the “Letter of Employment” is received from the employer