Issues Of Rehabilitation

NREMT’s denial of certification usually disregards current updated and reformed public policy of full employment and resurrection of character. Old disciplinary actions or criminal events are no longer allowed to be a life-long poverty sentence. NREMT’s denial improperly perpetuates the mistakes of past license boards which refused licensure for any misconduct.

The pendulum has swung in the other direction, allowing for licensure and employment after the passage of time and character reformation. My client’s appeals do not ask for unique or unusual treatment. Rather I ask NREMT to swim with the tide, not against it. New societal thinking on character reformation, development, and second chances warrants NREMT certification.

After passage of the federal, First Step Act, many in Congress support the Second Step Act. This Bill proposes the “Fair Chance Act” which limits use of criminal history to bar ANY type of federal employment, participation in federal contracts, and the military. The Bill also includes the “Fair Chance Licensing Act”. In this subchapter, the Bill sets forth very specific limits on the manner within which a conviction may be used to bar licensing. The Act states:

A qualifying background check law shall provide that a covered entity may not consider any of the following criminal history information in determining whether to disqualify an individual from employment, an occupational license, or an occupational certification:

  1. A conviction that is not a directly related conviction.
  2. Non-conviction information, including information related to—
  3. a deferred adjudication;
  4. participation in a diversion program;
  5. an arrest not followed by a valid conviction; or
  6. an infraction…..

(vii) A felony conviction that is more than 5 years old, excluding any period of incarceration or custody.
(B) Consideration of title VII Green factors
A qualifying background check law shall provide that a covered entity, in determining whether to disqualify an individual from employment, an occupational license, or an occupational certification based on a directly related conviction, shall consider—

  1. the nature and gravity of the conviction;
  2. the period of time that has elapsed since the conviction or, if applicable, completion of the sentence; and
  3. the nature of the employment, license, or certification held or sought.

(C) Sufficient mitigation or rehabilitation and fitness for occupation.

A qualifying background check law shall provide that a covered entity may not disqualify an individual from employment, an occupational license, or an occupational certification solely or in part because of a directly related conviction if the individual can establish sufficient mitigation or rehabilitation and fitness to perform the duties of the position or occupation by providing—

  1. evidence showing that—
  2. not less than 1 year has elapsed since the individual was released from any correctional institution without subsequent conviction of a crime; and
  3. the individual has complied with all terms and conditions of probation or parole; or
  4. any other evidence of mitigation and present fitness, including—
  5. the circumstances relating to the offense, including mitigating circumstances or social conditions surrounding the commission of the offense;
  6. the age of the individual when the individual committed the offense;
  7. the period of time that has elapsed since the individual committed the offense;
  8. evidence of work history, particularly any training or work experience related to the position or occupation;
  9. additional evidence of educational, training, or work activities that the individual has participated in, including during any period of incarceration;
  10. letters of reference by persons who have been in contact with the individual since the individual was released from any correctional institution; and
  11. completion of, or active participation in, rehabilitative drug or alcohol treatment.

Call me to discuss your prior record, NREMT application, and your history of character reformation, rehabilitation, and life since the date of the criminal event.

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