A proposal which looks to end the practice of disclosing criminal convictions on job applications and to ensure that the criminal history of an applicant would be disclosed after an offer of employment has been made was strongly supported by state Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123)during debate in the House of Representatives last week.

Rutigliano assisted in bringing out the bill as the ranking member of the Labor and Public Employees committee.

“This is an opportunity bill, with the stated goal to increases job opportunities for individuals who have served their sentence,” Rutigliano said. “The box is an impediment to employment; one cannot be a chef if they have never been a dishwasher. The proposed bill will give – ex-offenders a fair chance or better yet, a fresh start.”

The ban the bill titled, An Act Concerning Fair Chance Employment, provides employment-related protections for people with criminal conviction records. Employers will be prohibited from inquiring about a prospective employee’s prior arrests, criminal charges or convictions on an initial employment application, unless the employer is required to do so by an applicable state or federal law, or a security or fidelity bond or an equivalent bond is required for the position for which the prospective employee is seeking employment.

According to the Department of Corrections statistics, as of March 1, 2016, there were 15,691 individuals imprisoned in our state correctional institutions.

“While there is no guarantee of employment; this bill helps job seekers with felony convictions, assisting them to get over that initial hurdle and get an interview. We believe that having a second chance is imperative and something that we as a society are obligated to insure,” said Rep. Rutigliano.