Sunday, March 20, 2011

Senator Addabbo, Assembly Member Miller Push Passage of Sex Offender Employment Act in Senate & Assembly

Bill Looks to Prevent Hiring Registered Sex Offenders Having Direct Contact with Children Under 16

NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens), a member of the Senate’s Labor Committee, and NYS Assembly Member Michael Miller (D-Queens), are pushing for passage of the Sex Offender Employment Act. The Senate bill, sponsored by Addabbo and passed on Monday, March 7, seeks to prohibit registered sex offenders from working with children ages 16 and under, directly and unsupervised. The bill will now travel to the Assembly where Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Queens) has sponsored the bill. After passage and signature by the governor, this bill will become effective immediately.

The act will amend the Labor Law to prevent employers from hiring sex offenders and child abusers for positions in which they would have substantial contact with children and to prevent those on the New York State Sex Offender Registry and the Statewide Central Registry of Child Abuse and Maltreatment from holding jobs in which they would have substantial contact with children.

The act specifically requires Sex Offender Registry checks for certain employers:
  • Any employer that operates a school described in Paragraph F of Subdivision 2 of Section 5001 of the Education
  • Law, established for the primary purpose of providing instruction to children under age 16 shall, before hiring a
  • prospective employee for a position where such prospective employee is expected to have direct and
  • unsupervised contact with children, ascertain whether such prospective employee is listed on the Sex Offender
  • Registry, established by Article 6-C of the Correction Law.
  • Prior to initiating the Sex Offender Registry inquiry described in Subdivision 1 of this section, an employer shall inform
  • the prospective employee that such inquiry will be performed.
  • A willful violation of this section shall subject an employer to a civil penalty of not more than $100.
According to Senator Addabbo, “Our first priority must be keeping children safe from dangerous predators. Public school hiring policy already acknowledges how important background checks are for those we trust, especially around our children. Extending the background check requirement to other fields which are, by their nature child-oriented, serves the community as a whole. It would give parents the assurance that their child is safer. It would reduce the risk of creating new victims of sexual abuse by barring known offenders from interacting with children. It would also deter offenders from seeking employment in fields that would give them the means to re-offend.”

Assemblyman Miller Praises Senate Passage of Sex Offender Bill

Today we move one step closer to protecting our children,” Assemblyman Miller said. “I am thankful to have a friend like Senator Joe Addabbo to help carry this legislation in the Senate. I urge my colleagues in the Assembly to pass my bill as quickly as possible so we can begin implementing these much-needed reforms. Parents should not have to live in fear every time their child goes to a karate class, and these reforms will ensure that their children are much safer.”