State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) and State Rep. Representative Karen Camper (D-Memphis) have filed a bill that helps reformed former felons seek employment. Senate Bill 276 also protects the future employers who hire these new job-seekers from claims of negligent hiring.
“At a job fair in October, the number one request I heard was for legislation that would help reformed felons," said Senator Kelsey. “By petitioning the courts for a certificate of employment restoration, those individuals will now have a meaningful path to obtaining employment and leading a law-abiding life.
This legislation will especially impact those former felons who may have been convicted of a non-violent crime many years ago and have already paid the price for their crimes by fulfilling all of a court’s sentencing requirements, he said.
"After meeting and talking with many former felons at a recent job fair I hosted, I realized that the best way we can prevent crime in the future is to ensure that they have access to good paying jobs," said Rep. Camper. "People who have paid their debt to society should be given the opportunity to contribute as productive citizens."
Before a certificate of employment restoration is issued, a judge must determine that the individual petitioning the court has established that the certificate will assist them in obtaining a job, help meet the need of living a law-abiding life, and not pose any unreasonable risk to the safety of the general public or any individual.