“Certificates of Employability” offers second chances - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

'Certificates of Employability' offers reformed criminals a second chance

(WMC-TV) On Monday, the Tennessee Senate passed a bipartisan bill by Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) that will help reformed, former felons find employment and lead lives as productive members of society.

With a vote of 27-2, Senate Bill 276 will help spur job creation, reduce crime, and protect businesses from superfluous lawsuits, allowing individuals to petition courts for a certificate of employability. The objective of the certificates is to protect employers who hire new job-seekers from claims of negligent hiring.

"People who have paid their debt to society should be given the opportunity to work," said Senator Kelsey. "With this bill, these individuals will now have a meaningful path to obtaining a job and leading a law-abiding life."

The legislation is an attempt to reduce crime and create jobs that other states, such as Ohio, have already implemented with great success; it gives hope and opportunity to members of society who may have made mistakes in the past. By affording a second chance at meaningful employment, it also gives the State of Tennessee yet another tool in the fight to reduce criminal recidivism.

"This bill protects the public by requiring a judge to determine that an individual does not pose a risk to public safety before he can receive a certificate of employability," said Sen. Kelsey. "This bill will help prevent future crimes by ensuring these individuals have access to good paying jobs and are not tempted to return to a life of crime."

Senator Kelsey represents Cordova, East Memphis, and Germantown. He is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The House companion is sponsored by Rep. Karen Camper (D-Memphis).

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