Gomes Calls for Fair Chance Employment
Today, Senator Ed Gomes (D-Bridgeport) joined advocates in support of House Bill 5237: An Act Concerning Fair Chance Employment. The bill is a set of hiring policies for private employers, designed to ensure that applicants with criminal records are evaluated on the merits of their qualifications, not on their criminal records.
“We have too many hard-working people trying to find jobs that are being disqualified,” said Sen. Gomes. “We need to give everyone that is looking for a job a fair shot. I will continue to fight for an employment system that is fair to all our communities.”
The bill would incorporate “ban the box” policies, which remove the criminal history question from job applications and postpone the background check until a conditional offer is made by the employer. The bill would also require employers to take into account the age of the offense when making hiring decisions.
Research shows that once an employer has examined the qualifications of a job applicant, the applicant is more likely to be hired.
Seven states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have extended fair hiring practices to private employers.
HB 5237 is currently before the Labor and Public Employees Committee.