Legislation would eliminate felony question from initial state job applications
Nashville, TN – Tennessee State Senator Sara Kyle’s legislation to eliminate the check box that asks about prior felonies from state job applications passed the state Senate with a 25-7 vote.
“We want ex-offenders who have paid their debt to society to find a job and get back to work,” state Senator Sara Kyle said. “But too often, the stain of a prior felony conviction is an automatic rejection, and many don’t bother to apply. This legislation gives everyone a fair chance to make an impression and land the job that could support a family.”Under SB 2440, the state could no longer include a question about felony convictions on its job applications.
Managers could ask later in the hiring process, but eliminating the check box is proven to give more people an opportunity to make a good impression. Applications for jobs in education are exempt from the legislation and could continue to use the check box.
Companion legislation, HB 2442, sponsored by Representative Brenda Gilmore, will be heard in the House State Government Committee March 8th. It passed the House State Government Subcommittee February 24th.
“We know that ex-offenders who get jobs and earn a living are far less likely to re-offend,” Representative Gilmore said. “Under this legislation, the state sets an example for other employers by giving everyone a fair chance.”