Background checks are required for many jobs. If you have a criminal record, and you don’t pass a background check, you usually will not get hired. However, Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill in mid-2016 that may make it easier for you to get the job you need. This is called the “Second Chance Law.”
The Second Chance Law allows people who have been convicted of some types of felonies to get certain healthcare licenses, such as nursing licenses. These licenses are often required for people to get hired in a healthcare job, like nursing, occupational therapy, or respiratory care.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPB) is in charge of issuing these licenses. DFPB cannot block you from getting a license for a job unless you have been convicted of crimes directly related to the job.
Laws about job licensing can sometimes be confusing, and may change over time. If this is an important issue for you, it is best to talk to a lawyer about your options.
What if I had my healthcare license and lost it?
If you were convicted of a forcible felony, you may have had your healthcare license taken away. You can ask the state to restore your license, as long as your conviction was not for involuntary sexual servitude of a minor or a forcible felony that you have to register as a sex offender for.
What is a forcible felony?
A forcible felony is one that involves physical harm to another person, such as aggravated battery, kidnapping, murder, sexual assault and many more. A forcible felony may also be robbery, burglary, or arson.
How long do I have to wait?
Your criminal conviction must have happened at least 5 years ago, or your release from confinement must be at least 3 years ago, whichever date is later.