Workplaces Affected by New Sex Offender Law

Mar 21, 2016

Credit virginiageneralassembly.gov

It’s been practice for state police to include an offender’s workplace on the sex offender registry -- but now it will become mandatory. So will including the name of any college an offender attends.

The effect on business owners? Prepare to have your workplace address made publicly available if you hire a registered offender.

“The people that will be affected are the registrants, their families, but equally importantly it’s going to employers, and particularly small businesses,” says JP Welch who is part of an organization called Safer Virginia. He opposed the legislation as it made its way through the General Assembly this year, not because he doesn’t want the police to have access to the info -- but because he says it serves as a disincentive to hiring a registered offender.

Welch says, “There’s no real benefit to a small business to have their address listed on a sex offender registry, and in the employment market it’s difficult enough as it is.”

Experts agree steady employment decreases the likelihood of reoffending. But proponents of the new law say the information is important to public safety -- and the state police, General Assembly, and Governor all agree.  The new law goes into effect July 1st.