California: New Law Reduces Barriers for Caregivers with Past Convictions Allowing Them to Enter Workforce Faster
With the signing of AB1720, California Governor Gavin Newsom took an important step in reducing government barriers to caregiving jobs that frequently block qualified caregivers with past conviction records. The new law requires the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to streamline its process for workers with records to obtain an “exemption” to work.
AB1720 expands the simplified exemption process used by CDSS so that qualified caregivers with criminal records can have those records reviewed in a reasonable amount of time. Prior to enactment, the exemption process was taking well over 100 days—so long that many employers choose to move on to other candidates rather than wait for an applicant with a record to complete the exemption process. Agencies seeking to hire caregivers with criminal records often lost otherwise qualified candidates even though past convictions occurred many years ago or were entirely unrelated to caregiving.
HCAOA thanks Assemblyman Chris Holden, the bill sponsor and recent speaker at the HCAOA Southern California Chapter meeting, for helping to ease the home care industry’s workforce challenges in California.