Everybody deserves a second chance. That is what an old adage says. Though this may be a cliché, truly, people who have done wrong, have accepted their sentence or has served jail time, and has completely paid for their wrongdoing should really be given the chance that is due them. However, such incarceration often leaves a stigma to these people. This stigma causes employers not to trust these individuals should they plan to apply in the former’s offices. This makes it harder for people with criminal records to get the jobs to help jumpstart their lives. Most often than not, employers do not hire, and in the process commits an act of employee discrimination these people, just because of their criminal record, but is this even legal?
Bill to Help People with Criminal Records Get Back To Work
In California’s healthcare industry, people with criminal records are often disregarded when owners are looking for possible employees. This has been a major issue since this makes life even more difficult for people who have been incarcerated before. That is why people with criminal records are not hired as certified nursing assistants (CNA) and those who would try to apply for one are automatically denied.
The California Department of Public Health Legislative and Governmental Affairs letter of opposition to the bill noted that people who hire CNAs in the state are elderly people that have no means to “protect themselves against victimization” like fraud, theft, neglect, abuse, or other criminal activity. The CDPH believes that people with former criminal record may not be fit to take care of such people as they may abuse their licenses and victimize elderly people. The CDPH believes that it is their duty to protect these patients from possible abuse.
Should the bill be signed into law and enacted, the CDPH says that people convicted of murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, torture, assault and battery, rape, sex crimes involving children, child abuse and abandonment or neglect of children, crimes against elders, dependent adults, and persons with disabilities, burglary, robbery, various kinds of theft that includes embezzlement, forgery, extortion, and receiving stolen goods can put the lives of people who needs healthcare in danger if the applicants aren’t properly screened. Besides, the CDPH believes that there are enough remedies to allow a person to get certification if they really are eligible. Moreover, there are other legal remedies that a person can take, should he or she disagree with the decision of the CDPH.
An Act of Discrimination?
Some parties have expressed their disapproval in the CDPH’s opposition, citing that this breeds employment discrimination. Moreover, they believe that these convicted people who have paid for their trespasses should be given the second chance that they need to be able to support themselves and their loved ones. However, the CDPH clears that this is not an act of discrimination against people with criminal records as the dangers that the agency cited are real and are too serious to just ignore.
According to an employment discrimination lawyer based in California, existing anti-discrimination laws do not offer protections to convicted people from discrimination. However, he believes that the CDPH has raised valid fears and that the houses of Congress should really be able to tackle these well. Such will help come up with a win-win solution not just for these people in need of jobs and the people, often disabled, that needs the medical attention of health workers that they could trust.