CA: People With Criminal Records Should Not Have to Hire a Lawyer Just to Get a Job

Source: 2/4/24

State laws are restricting people with convictions from working as nurses, counselors and janitors.

Finding work can be difficult for anyone, but Fernando Herrera faces an extra challenge. California has banned him for life from his dream job as a firefighter because of two felonies he committed as a teenager.

Herrera went to prison for assaults he committed at ages 14 and 15. But he took responsibility for his actions and turned his life around. He worked as an unpaid firefighter while in prison and found his passion. After his release, he served as a volunteer firefighter and helped put out the 2018 Camp Fire, which was the deadliest fire in California history. But despite becoming an outstanding citizen, California law prevents Herrera from obtaining EMT certification, without which he cannot become a paid firefighter. This is solely because of his criminal record.

Millions of job applicants face similar barriers nationwide. All 50 states and Washington, D.C. restrict people with convictions from obtaining a license to work. Many of these restrictions are arbitrary and unnecessary. Want to cut hair or paint nails for a living? Many states will not give you a license unless you pass a background check. Want to drive a commercial vehicle? Same drill.

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T:HIS IS FACT, not storytelling….MANY MANY of RC’s are WORSE OFF than past Felons. RC’s ARE SUBJECT to TOUGHER Standards @ CA and other Workplaces, ESPECIALLY when the Corp Office/HQ is in another State or Country, i.e., CAN. You will be judged by the LAWS in The State they operate RESIDE in besides the store/location where you apply/live/commute. Just TRYING to get an interview is tough enough, judged by spelling of your NAME and already by AGE on Resume seeing your Year of Graduation, H.S. and/or College/Univ. BUT…a Registrant? NO Fing WAY, NO JOB FOR YOU…so those of you have survived background checks while employed due to rumors or later findings, CONGRATS to YOU! Survival of the fittest. You can’t cut hair legally, nor even sell real estate let alone work a pro job or major corp w/o the deepest BACKGROUND CHECK…either way mom and pop and smaller businesses just illegally + = LOOK YOUR NAME ON THE INTERNET Google it, Yahoo it, whatever. G U I L T Y. They are correct…NORMALLY MORE needs to be done to be forgiven from past histories espcially decades ago. Terrible how we are treated yet EXPECTED to be a Productive Citizen, HEY! HAVE you noted less visits from SWAT TEAM when you are FULL TIME let alone p/t EMPLOYED?!!? I sure have. Keep chins up folks more change.

CA while on parole its 100 times worse…and it depends on the Parole officer. Our family member was told he cannot have a smart phone or internet. Then when he jumps through those hurdles and finds a jobs and gets interviewed and offered the position then his PO says nope there may be someone under 18 there, or they don’t want him wearing a uniform because it will give him power or cannot do anything with houses only commercial painting or construction…. But the ultimate is his Parole officer says “when will find a job?” “You have to work or won’t be released from parole.” All in the mean while a RC in the same transitional housing with the same charges has internet, smart phone …. only difference is a different parole officer. There needs to be a standard and Parole needs to all be on bored with that.

REF: SB731 – Also, many here may already be aware of this; I did some additional research in my attempt to have my records “SEALED” through the new law SB731. I was hoping to have my records “Automatic Sealed”. After reading this law thoroughly and having my Attorney look into it as well, (in case I may have overlooked something), there is no chance of anyone with a past sex offense, (whether your case was dismissed or not), of getting your Criminal History Sealed. This, as well as the story mentioned here, makes it just impossible to get a fair chance or a second chance of obtaining employment. This SB731 got my hopes up high at first glance, but later sadly disappointed.

In california, if a certain amount of time passes (7-10 years), you can apply through the court system to get a ” certificate of rehab”, if youve been an outstanding citizen since past convictions and are approved for the certificate, you cannot be denied a professional license based on your past….just got to do your research.