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A Barrier Removed in Illinois for People With Criminal Records

Posted on in Criminal Law

A Barrier Removed in Illinois for People With Criminal Records, McHenry County Criminal Defense LawyerUnemployment among people who have criminal records is higher than the national and state averages for unemployment among people who do have criminal records. Having a criminal conviction can sometimes mean that a lot of jobs are out of reach, either because people are prejudiced in their approach to hiring people with criminal records, or because a person with a criminal record cannot gain the professional license required for some professions.  Changes to Illinois law are looking to change this for some people with certain convictions by allowing them to qualify for professional licenses under certain circumstances.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations is now prohibited from denying people with criminal convictions licenses to work as barbers, cosmetologists, hair braiders, estheticians, nail technicians, roofing business owners, and funeral directors. In addition, restrictions for people seeking licenses for professions in the medical field, such as nurses, were also lifted as long as it has been five years since an applicant's conviction or three years since release from prison. Some of the restrictions on licensing will continue for people who are considered sex offenders, and for people with convictions for crimes that are directly related to the profession within which the person seeks to work.

These changes follow Illinois joining several states that “ban the box,” by restricting when a prospective employer may inquire as to a job candidate's criminal history during the application process.  In Illinois, private employers are restricted from inquiring about a candidate's criminal record until the candidate is selected for an interview, or until the employer makes a conditional offer of employment. The ban the box laws allowed people with convictions to get their qualifications before the employer and get a fair chance at being evaluated before the employer dismissed them based on their record alone. While it did not guarantee that the candidate would get the job, it certainly made things easier.

For some people with criminal records, it may be possible to remove or seal certain convictions from their criminal records before looking for a job.  Sealing or expunging records would be a way to ensure that employers could not find minor arrests or convictions when finally conducting a criminal background check on the candidate.  In some cases, employers are not permitted to ask about criminal records that have been expunged or sealed. In addition, prospective employers should not ask about or have access to a candidate's juvenile criminal records.

Let Us Assist You

If you are facing criminal charges, whether a felony or a misdemeanor, you should contact a passionate Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC. to help you fight the charges before a conviction severely impacts your life.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=5973&GAID=13&GA=99&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=95473&SessionID=88

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3564&ChapterID=68

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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