Please limit the number of years any company can perform a background check for employees
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I made a huge mistake when I was Younger and got a felony as a result of a very bad decision. I received 3 years supervised probation and fines as my sentence which I completed without any problems. In my eyes, I had paid my debt to society and have honestly changed my ways. I had an Associate Degree prior to this felony in Physical Therapy Assisting, however 10 years later I still find it very difficult to land a decent job. I don't know how many times based solely on the application and interview process, that I have been offered jobs. But it never fails, when the subject of a background check comes up, any job offer extended to me is always retracted. I am always honest on a application if asked about my background. Those employers usually never call me for an interview. The ones that don't ask about my background on the application, usually end up offering me a job until the background check is performed. My felony is 10 years old and still shows up even though some companies claim to only perform a 7 year search. I called one of the companies that performs these background checks and asked them why my felony was showing up on a "7 year search" if it was 10 years ago. They said technically you have to subtract the sentence from the number of years that have passed. So since I received 3 years probation as my sentence, you subtract 3 from 10 yrs ago that it happened and get 7. Therefore it continues to show up on a 7 yr search. Most companies go back indefinitely when they perform a background check. It's so frustrating because I know I have so much potential and willingness to offer any prospective employer if just given the opportunity. I paid my debt to society for my wrongdoing, however it looks like I will forever be punished and judged for my mistake by society. I have a part time job now cleaning for a plant making minimum wage. I bring home $250 every 2 weeks which is hardly enough to run a home for me and my 2 children. I met with the Board of Physical Therapy about getting my licence to practice P.T. Assisting back which I lost as a direct result of my felony. They told me it was a possibility if I could get the felony expunged from my records. I initiated the expungement process myself with my former probation officer 5 yrs ago. I didn't have the money to hire a lawyer but followed the correct procedure when I filed it. However, when I called the probation officer's office to follow up on my case, I was asked if I had used a lawyer to file. When I said no, they told me they were 5 yrs behind in the expungement processes. We need new laws in how far back companies can perform background checks on prospective employees. Some people do truly regret their mistakes and change their ways. With the laws like they are now, I have no choice but to receive government assistance to help me raise my 2 children because I can not make enough money on the jobs I am forced to take. It seems as though this one poor decision will haunt me the rest of my life. Please help me in making a change in how society treats people with a criminal background. The laws in place now are truly a form of discrimination against all people with a criminal record.
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