The New York State Senate recently unanimously passed a bill that aims to protect children by making sure sex offenders are not hired for jobs where they would spend “significant” time with children.
This bill, known as the Sex Offender Employment Act, will apply to those found guilty of child abuse and those on the New York State Sex Offender Registry or Statewide Central Registry of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.
While public schools already perform background checks on potential employees, the new bill would extend “the background check requirement to other fields which are, by nature, children oriented,” according to the bill’s summary.
“Our primary objective must be to keep our children safe from dangerous predators,” said bill sponsor Senator Joseph Addabbo. “This legislation reduces the risk of exposing new victims to sexual abuse by keeping known offenders from spending extended time alone around children, like at martial arts or dance and music schools, in addition to our local schools, day care facilities and camps.”
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said that this bill will help give “parents the peace of mind of [knowing] their child is safe” and “guards sex offenders and abusers from potentially committing another violation, and it reduces the risk of creating new victims of sexual abuse by prohibiting known offenders from interacting with children.”
Now that the bill has passed the Senate, it must pass the Assembly. Following the discovery that a sex offender was working at a karate school in his district, Assemblymember Mike Miller introduced the bill.
“This is great news for parents and children across New York,” said Miller. “Getting this through the Assembly and signed into law is my first priority.”