SB 725 would prevent DUIs older than 10 years and marijuana charges that are no longer crimes from disqualifying potential care providers from employment.
People seeking employment providing services and supports to other people are subject to a background check to ensure the safety of consumers. Some applicants must also undergo a “weighing test” to determine if their past criminal history makes them a current threat to consumers. People are denied employment for having a past marijuana charge that is no longer a crime or decades-old DUI. The subjective nature of the weighing test bars qualified applicants from employment based solely on the moral judgments of another person and leaves people in need without a care provider.
We have a flawed system that prevents qualified people from filling critically-needed jobs to care for the most vulnerable Oregonians. People of color are far more likely to experience arrests and convictions and have less access to legal services to expunge infractions like minor marijuana charges or old DUIs. These blemishes on a record can permanently prohibit qualified applicants from pursuing a career in a field in desperate need of workers. Our care provider background check system perpetuates Oregon’s long, tragic history of white supremacy culture by creating an arbitrary barrier to employment that disparately impacts people of color and adds to a critical shortage of care providers to serve the most vulnerable people in our state.
SB 725 will remove DUIs older than 10 years and marijuana charges that are no longer crimes from the weighing tests of individuals applying for positions as care providers. This bill does not affect any other past criminal charges and does not add a statute of limitation to anything other than DUIs. It will help provide a path towards a career of service and dignity for more Oregonians of color while making progress in addressing our care provider shortage for people in need.