SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — A Utah company is partnering with employers to offer a unique benefit for their employers: record expungement.
Rasa is a legal tech company that offers low-cost expungement services. Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness, or USARA, is Rasa's first official partner for this benefit.
"As a recovery community organization, we really, truly believe that people can and do change their life," said Evan Done, community impact director for USARA.
Through the partnership, USARA is offering to clear criminal records for full time employees who have worked there a year.
"Rasa's handling all of the legal ends, and then Rasa just sends us an invoice and we're able to pay it on behalf of the employee for those services," Done said.
"I became a felon when I was like 19," said Kayla Jensen, who has worked as a peer recovery coach at USARA for two years.
She has a list of criminal charges stemming form her past substance use.
"I've completed family recovery court. I've been through many treatments," Jensen said.
Her criminal record has created barriers to housing, transportation, and more. USARA is helping her expunge three of her cases.
"This weight that I've held for 13 years is not going to be there," she said.
Noella Sudbury, CEO of Rasa, hopes other companies will offer this benefit to their employees.
"We believe in this tight labor market, creating programs like these allows employers to recruit and retain good talent," Sudbury said.
One in four Utahns has a criminal record, which Sudbury said can keep them from getting jobs or advancing at work. She believes expungement can help employers access a pool of untapped talent.
"85 percent of HR directors find that people with a record perform as well or better than people without records," Sudbury said.
Sudbury said people with records can be hard-working and loyal and offering this benefit shows employers are committed to them.
For Jensen, USARA taking care of some of her criminal charges has given her the confidence to go to school and pursue her goals.
"I know that the sky's the limit for me," she said.
Rasa hopes to do more partnerships like this and encourage companies to reach out to them. They let the employer decide the criteria for who can receive the expungement benefit.
Rasa also is working on an app to help people navigate the expungement process. To learn more or reach out to partner with them, visit the Rasa website.
For addiction and recovery help visit the Addicted Utah resources page.