As Americans we believe in second chances and we believe that work is redemptive, stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. This is a victory for Minnesota. This bill makes it possible for thousands of parents who have made a mistake and paid their price to one day get a job, get their children out of foster care, and pull their lives and their families back together.
This is not only a victory for prospective job applicants; it is also a victory for employers, Jeff Martin, President of the St. Paul NAACP and Political Action Chair for the Minnesota-Dakota NAACP State Conference. Once this bill is put into law, employers will have access to a labor pool that fully represents what is available in Minnesota, rather than a filtered down version. This is just one step toward eliminating employment discrimination in a state that still has a long way to go. But now people with records will be able to sit across the table from a hiring employer and make their case.
The NAACP was part of a coalition that included Take Action Minnesotas Justice 4 All Campaign, The Counsel on Crime and Justice and other groups.
The bill passed the Minnesota House of Representatives by a margin of 107 to 26. It now goes to Governor Mark Dayton for his signature. Last week, Marylands governor signed a bill to ban the box for state employers.