Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law a bill reducing liability for businesses that hire people with criminal offenses on their record, in an effort to bridge a workforce gap in the state and give some Iowans a second chance.
The bill shields businesses from lawsuits waged against them simply because they hired someone who committed a criminal offense. Reynolds praised the bill during a small ceremony in her formal office Wednesday, calling it a “necessary step” and the “right thing to do.”
“Too often employers have overlooked skilled workers with past criminal offenses for fear of lawsuits,” Reynolds said. “Those who can’t get a job often find their way back to crime and back to prison.”
The bill passed both chambers unanimously. Under the proposal, there are limited exceptions in which an employer can still face liability, including if the employee committed serious offenses such as first degree murder or felony assault.
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