Anyone that is a registered citizen or has a loved one or friend who is, knows first-hand how difficult it is for a registrant to find employment. First, there are restrictions on where a registrant can work; not only geographically but also in which positions. Second, there is the stigma of hiring a registrant and the potential social and economic backlash that might come when clients or customers of that business learn of the employee’s history.
Now, some recent articles have exposed a third challenge… employers can be liable for hiring sex offenders.
Last week the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a bill that would fine certain businesses from hiring a sex offender (see: http://wpri.com/2014/06/22/bill-would-make-businesses-rethink-hiring-sex-offenders/). The same week, in an even more absurd scenario, a Massachusets garbage hauling company is in jeopardy of losing a multi-million dollar contract with the City of Quincy because they employed a registered sex offender. (see: http://www.tauntongazette.com/article/20140618/NEWS/306199996/11160/NEWS)
Quincy City Councilor Brian Palmucci, who called the employment of the registrant a “public safety issue” contributed the following; “It’s important because these employees come in contact with children at school and with elderly populations.”
From my observation, most people (including children) are repelled by sitting trash rather than attracted to it. Also, garbage men generally work in teams and are usually too busy running after the garbage truck and dumping bins than hanging out with kids. If the most looked down upon member of society can’t engage in the most looked down upon job in society, what is left to do?
Also, if businesses are exposed to liability in being fined or losing contracts because they chose to give a human being a second chance, how many more opportunities will be left for former sex offenders to support their families?
I would understand if a registrants career aspiration to become a day care worker, clown or ice cream man were curtailed… that would make sense, but come on… a garbage man!?!?!