By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Commonwealth Court has ruled that a Pennsylvania law banning ex-felons from certain jobs, for the rest of their lives, is unconstitutional.

The Court ruled on the Older Adult Protective Services Act, which places a lifetime ban on employment in long-term care for anyone who’s committed certain crimes. Community Legal Services attorney Janet Ginzberg represented the plaintiffs says the court found that was overly broad.

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Ginzberg says it comes down to being fair.

“You can’t make these sweeping generalizations about people without giving them an opportunity to prove they would be dedicated and caring and qualified care-givers, that they have been rehabilitated,” she said.

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Ginzberg says, for example, lead plaintiff Tyrone Peak, convicted of auto theft at 18 was denied employment despite thirty years without a blemish since.

Resources for Human Development, likes to hire former addicts for its rehab programs but can’t. She says the ruling doesn’t remove common sense precautions.

“They’re still going to take into account people’s criminal records,” Ginzberg said.

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