CHICAGO (WTHI) - Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has signed legislation helping people in the criminal justice system gain employment in the health care industry.
The law creates a timelier and efficient health care waiver application process, expands the list of eligible organizations that can initiate a fingerprint-based background check and those than can request waivers to include workforce intermediaries and pro bono legal service organization, and allows people with disqualifying conditions to obtain waivers before receiving a job offer.
Previously, only health care employers who extended a conditional offer to an applicant could begin a fingerprint-based background check.
“Over 4 million Illinoisans have an arrest or conviction record – that includes over 40 percent of our working age population,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This vicious cycle of poverty, crime and injustice – which disproportionately impacts communities of color – does a disservice to everyone involved, from affected families to employers to taxpayers. I’m so proud that this legislation will dismantle another part of the wall that blocks people with records from living a dignified life. Today, with this action, we’re showing the world that we are building an Illinois that works for everyone.”
By 2026, the Safer Foundation estimates that more than 93,000 jobs will need to be filled in the industry, more than 18,000 healthcare technicians and more than 74,000 in health care support.