How Prop 47 Changes the Hiring Process

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STOCKTON-

For years, one question on job applications has kept Mario Varrera's resume with thousands of others - in the trash.

"I think it's not fair," Varrera said. "Everybody is supposed to have an opportunity, right?"

As a convicted felon, Varrera is required to disclose it on job applications but that may change because of Proposition 47.

Proposition 47 reclassifies certain non-violent felonies as misdemeanors.

The new law opens up the job market for those felons, many of whom were previously unemployable.

"We had people who were taking drugs," business owner Lowell Beghtel said. "Our workers' comp went up, our workmanship went down."

Now, not knowing a potential hire's criminal past is unnerving for employers like Beghtel, who is currently hiring laborers.

Parolees who don't qualify for Prop 47 still have access to a handful of state rehabilitation programs, like one from Caltrans offering temp jobs for $10 an hour.

The Department of Corrections say there are no current job programs for Prop 47.