AN ACT TO CLARIFY AND SIMPLIFY A LICENSEE'S QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSURE AND TO REQUIRE RECOGNITION BY LICENSING BOARDS OF CERTAIN APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING EXPERIENCES.
Amends GS 15A-173.2(d) to require rather than permit an administrative agency, governmental official, or civil court to consider a certificate of relief favorably in determining whether a conviction should result in disqualification.
Amends GS 93B-8.1 to prohibit an occupational licensing board from automatically denying licensure on the basis of an applicant's criminal history unless federal law governing a particular occupation provides otherwise (was, unless the law governing a particular occupational licensing board). Now provides that if a board is authorized to deny a license on the basis of a verified conviction of any crime (was, also for commission of a crime involving moral turpitude), the board is permitted to deny the license if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant's criminal history is directly related to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation (previously, no burden of proof was specified nor was the board required to directly link the applicant's criminal history to the occupation for denial). Maintains the eight factors a licensing authority must consider in making its determination. Adds that a certificate of relief must be considered favorably by the board.
Adds a new procedure for applicants to petition a board at any time for a determination of whether the individual's criminal history will disqualify the individual from obtaining a license. Requires the board to make a determination pursuant to the standard parameters it would in reviewing an application and notify the individual of the determination within 30 days of receipt of the petition. Allows the board to charge a fee of no more than $25 per petition. Mandates that the board notify an individual of a denied petition and include the grounds for the board's reasoning, that the individual has a right to contest the decision, the earliest date the individual can reapply for a license, and further evidence of rehabilitation that will be considered upon reapplication. Specifies that a determination of eligibility upon a petition is binding if an applicant fulfills all other requirements for the occupational license and the applicant's criminal history record is accurate and remains unchanged at the time of application for licensure.
Enacts GS 93B-8.6 to require a licensing board to grant licensure to an applicant who has completed an apprenticeship approved by the State or federal Department of Labor or otherwise permitted by law, and who passed an examination, if necessary. Defines apprenticeship to mean a program that meets specified federal guidelines completed under a State-licensed practitioner of that occupation or a State-licensed school. Requires each licensing board to establish a passing score for the board's exams taken by applicants who have completed apprenticeships that cannot exceed what is required under the board's standard licensing processes. Prohibits a board from requiring an exam when one is not required for the standard licensing process, or from requiring apprenticeship hours beyond that which are required by the relevant licensing authority or statute for that occupation. Requires that applicants be allowed to apply training hours earned through career technical education provided by NC public schools and colleges towards the licensure requirements in the same occupation in accordance with the standards and procedures authorized under the Chapter. Directs the Commissioner of Labor and licensing boards to adopt rules to implement the statute.
Applies to certificates of relief granted or applications for licensure submitted on or after October 1, 2019.