- Kira Druyan, MOD Pizza’s chief legal officer has a plan to pair formerly incarcerated MOD Squad members with attorneys who can help them clear their records and start anew.
- Still in the pilot stage, the program could eventually be offered as a benefit to MOD employees who stay with the company for a set period of time.
In its efforts to help the formerly incarcerated move on with their lives, MOD Pizza plans to partner with law firms to get some employees’ criminal records expunged, as Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) has reported.
When a person has to check a box declaring they have been convicted of a crime in the past, it’s harder to get a job, find housing, apply for a loan or get admitted to school. MOD Pizza, one of the country’s fastest-growing restaurant chains, is known for hiring the formerly incarcerated, as well as people with developmental disabilities, as part of its people-first mission.
“Giving someone a job is a great thing, but that’s only the entry point of how we can support people with barriers to employment. There’s a lot more support that some of these employees need,” Kira Druyan, MOD’s chief legal officer, told NRN.
Druyan is working on a system that will pair MOD employees with lawyers who offer pro-bono services and can help get their records expunged. “Frankly, the response has been really, really positive,” Druyan said. “Outside law firms are always looking to embed themselves more with their clients, and I think cases [like these] have been really meaningful for them.”
The program is still in the pilot stage. Druyan started out with DLA Piper, a global law firm that agreed to take on three cases for MOD Squad members. She hopes that it will eventually become an employee benefit for staffers who have worked for MOD for a certain period of time.
Druyan knows how it feels to deal with the consequences of a conviction. “I had an arrest in college that I got expunged,” she told NRN. “I may or may not have been in a bar underage with a fake I.D., but I was going to law school, and I knew I needed to get that off my record. So I went and got it taken care of. But I’m lucky. I knew what I needed to do, and I had the backing and education to take care of it. But not everybody does.”
She added, “If I could leave a sustainable social justice, pro bono-type program for the Squad, that would be a much prouder legacy than any of the other legal work that I do.”