Hundreds of home health care workers in California have histories of rape, assault and abuse, but in many cases their criminal histories are no barrier to keeping their jobs assisting the elderly and individuals with disabilities.

Since the state began conducting background checks last year, nearly 1,000 current and prospective caregivers were found to have felony records. Of those, nearly 800 were deemed ineligible to work in the home health care program, but the remainder were allowed to assume employment or remain on the job. Among them are individuals with convictions for burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment.

Administrators of the program and law enforcement officials say their hands are tied after a judge determined earlier this year that only specific offenses could bar someone from employment as a home health care worker. What’s more, because of privacy concerns, officials say they can’t even tell program participants about a caregiver’s criminal past.

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Despite the concerns, state legislators have been slow to address the issue, reports The Los Angeles Times. To read more click here.

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