Employee sex offender bill advances

Published 9:17 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Sen. Sally Doty’s bill that would require employers to notify parents or guardians of minors who are working with sex offenders passed out of committee and will go to the full House for consideration. If it’s passed there it will go to the governor’s desk.

It does not apply to employees who only have incidental contact with children in the workplace.

A  convicted sex offender who volunteers for an organization and has contact with minors must notify the group of the conviction, according to the bill.

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An employer acting in good faith in making notification to parents or guardians would not be held liable if they failed to do so.

“Protecting our children and other vulnerable persons such as the elderly and disabled is my No. 1 concern, but I also understand the role and importance of stable employment for rehabilitation of anyone convicted of a crime,” Doty told the Clarion Ledger.

Doty’s bill that attempts to stop caller ID spoofing will also move forward for a vote on the House floor.

The bill, similar to one authored by Rep. Becky Currie, aims to crack down on telemarketers using local numbers to fool people into answering calls.

“I hope the bill works or at least slows them down,” Currie said. “They are usually one step ahead of us. Everyone is tired of it.”

Doty’s bill that would change how employees at Mississippi School of the Arts are classified passed out of committee Tuesday and will go to the full House for consideration.

SB 2625 would move employees at MSA out from under the authority of the State Personnel Board. Currently, MSA is treated as a state agency and is subject to burdensome requirements more suited for a large agency, Doty said.

Employees’ insurance and benefits would not be impacted, she said. Contracts for teachers would be approved by state Board of Education.

The law would take effect in July 2020 to allow the school time to get employee contracts finalized.