Repeal the Michigan law that bars qualified behavior technicians from employment!

Repeal the Michigan law that bars qualified behavior technicians from employment!

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Randall Swanson started this petition to Michigan Governor and

Employees working as Behavior Technicians ("BTs"), providing applied behavior therapy services to children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disabilities in the state of Michigan may be fired or terminated and barred from working as a BT because of Section 333.18263(1)(a) of the Public Health Code, MCL enacted in 2015, which states in relevant part:

"(1) An individual shall not act as a behavior technician in this state unless he or she meets both of the following, if applicable:
    (a) Has had a criminal history check conducted and the criminal history check does not contain any criminal history record information for that individual."

This law affects numerous patients, families, and employees. On behalf of all of these patients, families, and employees in the state of Michigan, I am asking for your support in requesting that legislators and the Governor take immediate action to suspend this unconstitutional law.  I have heard many heartbreaking stories, including an employee who was disqualified because of a conviction on their record that was not theirs, and other employees with convictions that occurred many years ago related to youthful indiscretions totally unrelated to their ability to work. I have heard of patients who have lost services because their BT could not work with them any longer and families of both employees and patients suffering from both.

The federal Social Security Act, subsections 1128(a), 1128(b)(1), (2), and (3); 1128A; Title V, XX, XXI, XVII, and XIX extensively detail disqualifications for BTs and are tailored to protect patients. However, the Michigan statute does not improve or clarify the federal law but is ambiguous and overbroad in its language and enforcement. This law does not indicate what “any criminal history record information” is dispositive or whether any convictions are exempt, such as any juvenile or expunged convictions.  Also, this statute flies in the face of the national movement to help those with any criminal history record information, where 34 states and municipalities have enacted laws to ensure that public and private employees with criminal convictions in their past have the opportunity to obtain gainful employment (Ban the Box by State and Municipality, SHRM 2019).

Finally, on a general note, arguably this statute violates the state Constitution at Article 1, Section 16 prohibiting cruel and unusual punishments; Article 1, Section 17 prohibiting depriving persons of life, liberty or property without due process of law, and Article VIII, Section 8 in limiting access to services for the disabled by disqualifying available and experienced staff for patients.

Please sign our petition to repeal this law and ensure that the BTs who provide important services to the disabled patients of Michigan can continue to work. Thank you!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!