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What you need to know about Kentucky’s moral character clause

On Behalf of | Sep 17, 2021 | Administrative Law |

In the state of Kentucky, an individual cannot work as a plumber without a plumbing license. There are two levels of licensing a plumber may qualify for: a journeyman’s license and a master plumber license.

Kentucky’s plumbing license has a moral character clause which prohibits anyone with a criminal background from practicing plumbing. It is the only state that has such a clause in it. Being such, it is imperative to keep a clean record to practice plumbing in Kentucky.

Why a moral clause?

Moral character clauses are typically used to maintain a certain standard or reputation. They are used to deter the contracted individuals away from certain lifestyles or behaviors. Having a moral requirement for licensing plumbers attempts to set a high bar for individuals who want to practice plumbing. A criminal background can prevent an individual from obtaining a plumbing license.

Criminal record

The moral character clause requires a background check to be run on an individual before they are permitted to receive a license. The court records researched by the background check look for outstanding warrants, misdemeanor records, sex offender registration and other crimes meriting legal detention. The information gathered for the background check comes from local, county and state facilities including courts and prisons.

Legal dispute

Being convicted of a criminal charge can have severe repercussions in a plumber’s career as an individual convicted of a crime may be at risk of losing their license. Those accused of a criminal offense may dispute the accusation in court. An accusation is not a final judgment. A practicing plumber accused of an offense may be able to salvage their reputation and their career if they are able to demonstrate innocence or otherwise milder the judgment.