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Bridgeport Sen. Gomes Asks For Fair Chance Employment Bill

State Sen. Ed Gomes (D-Bridgeport) speaks about the Fair Chance Employment Bill in Hartford on Wednesday.
State Sen. Ed Gomes (D-Bridgeport) speaks about the Fair Chance Employment Bill in Hartford on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Contributed photo

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- State Sen. Ed Gomes (D-Bridgeport) has joined advocates in support of a bill that includes 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 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.”

House Bill 5237 would incorporate “ban the box” policies, which would remove the criminal history question from job applications and postpone the background check until a conditional offer is made by the employer. It 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.

The bill is currently before the Labor and Public Employees Committee.

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