Main Street Alliance of Vermont applauds the legislature for passing H.261, legislation that will require employers to delay inquiring about criminal history until after their other qualifications have been assessed. Banning the box that asks about criminal history on an initial application form gives those with a criminal conviction a fair shot at employment.
“Once a sentence has been served, there is no need to create a ‘life sentence’ that prevents future growth and opportunity,” said Sue Bette, owner of Bluebird Barbecue in Burlington and a member of the Main Street Alliance Board. “I believe that in order to create a strong, vibrant, and healthy Vermont community it is necessary to create a path toward success for this population so they can again contribute to our economy and rebuild their lives in a healthy and constructive way.”
Other MSA-VT members who voiced their support for the legislation include, Matt Birong, Owner of 3 Squares Café in Vergennes, Angela Earle-Gray, HR Director at Chroma Technology in Bellows Falls, and Jason Aprea,Co-Owner of BBetter Inc. in Brattleboro.
“The support for this legislation in Vermont has been inspiring,” said Ashley Moore, Business Outreach Manager for MSA-VT. “One member in particular shared a story about his decision to start a business with his wife because his criminal record prevented him from getting a job post-incarceration.”
The bill passed the Senate by unanimous voice vote, and it passed the House on a voice vote. It will now go on to Governor Peter Shumlin. He is expected to sign the bill into law.
Main Street Alliance of Vermont is a statewide non profit organization that works with small business owners on public policy issues that are good for business, their employees, and the communities they serve.