Singleton Bill to Assist Ex-Offenders in Finding Employment Now Law

Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton which will help former offenders enter the workforce was signed into law today by Governor Phil Murphy.

The law, S-942, requires professional and occupational boards to determine whether a person is disqualified from certification, registration or licensure due to a prior conviction of a crime or offense. If the board considers a crime or offense is a direct threat to the public’s safety, then the person is disqualified. Otherwise, someone cannot be denied employment due to a prior conviction.

“Nearly one in every three U.S. adults has a criminal record, with over 60 percent of former prisoners remaining unemployed a year after rejoining society,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Successful entry into the labor force has been shown to greatly increase their chances of not reoffending. Through this law, we are reducing the barriers that face former prisoners when they seek jobs requiring an occupational license. It will allow them to find meaningful work that will give them a sense of purpose as they rebuild their lives.”

Before, the law permitted a board to refuse to admit a person to an examination or refuse to issue any certificate, registration or license issued by the board upon proof that the applicant was convicted of a crime regulated by the board.