Christal Fields v. Washington State Department of Early Learning

This court case is active

On April 12, 2016, ACLU-WA filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Christal Fields, whose child care license was revoked by the Department of Early Learning (DEL) when it learned about her 27-year-old conviction for attempted robbery. Ms. Fields has put her criminal history behind her and has been an exemplary member of the community for years, but her criminal history poses a barrier to her success. Currently, state law prevents DEL from giving child care licenses to individuals with this type of conviction and does not allow the individual to present any mitigating evidence whatsoever. We argue that this law violates Ms. Fields’ constitutional rights by taking away her license without giving her any opportunity to demonstrate her qualification and fitness for being awarded the license. The ACLU believes that removing barriers to employment is required by the law and is a matter of common sense, as it allows previously convicted people to contribute to their communities and prosper in various employment settings.