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State Senator

Ed Gomes

Representing Bridgeport & Stratford

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Gomes Leads Senate Passage of Fair Chance Employment

Today, Senator Ed Gomes (D-Bridgeport) brought a bill to the floor of the Senate that aims to create fair chance employment. House Bill 5237, An Act Concerning Fair Chance Employment, 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. The bill received approval in the Senate and now moves to the desk of Governor Dannel P. Malloy to await his signature.

“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 will 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 will 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.

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