A new Oklahoma law may be concerning to those with family members or loved ones in an Oklahoma nursing home. The law, which took effect last November, allows “convicted criminals of offenses such as assault, battery, and first degree robbery to work in nursing homes.”
Executive Director of the Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers, Rebecca Moore, helped to draft the bill. In a statement, she noted, “There’s always been some problems with just a blanket you can’t work here nursing home.” Under the new law, convicted criminals cannot be denied employment at a nursing home solely due to their conviction once seven years have passed since they completed their sentence.
Official for the Oklahoma State Department of Health James Joslin believes that the new law will have a positive impact on residents in nursing homes because, under the law, background checks for nursing home applicants will be expanded. Effective on or after March 1, 2013, all Oklahoma CNAs will have to be fingerprinted.
The law does not change current laws concerning criminals convicted of offenses including rape, child abuse, murder, and kidnapping. For nursing homes, these crimes will remain unemployable offenses. Individual nursing homes will have the final say over whether they will hire an individual convicted of an employable offense.