Court overturns blanket ban on health aides with convictions

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A Pennsylvania appeals court is overturning a provision in state law that imposed a lifetime ban against working with the elderly, sick and disabled for those convicted of a range of criminal offenses.

A seven-judge Commonwealth Court panel ruled unanimously last week that the ban imposed nearly 20 years ago in the state’s Older Adults Protective Services Act was too broad and violated workers’ rights.

The decision agrees with the social services agency and five workers who sued. It says the blanket prohibition treated a variety of convictions identically and left no room for employers to consider other factors such as the nature of the crime or an individual’s efforts at rehabilitation.

A spokesman for the Wolf administration says it hasn’t decided whether to appeal.

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