The Assembly, today (Wed), is scheduled to discuss a proposal to allow employers to fire — or refuse to hire — criminals.

State Representative Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) defends his proposal to allow employers to take a pass on convicted killers, kidnappers, and child molesters.

That bill (AB-260) would create an exemption to Wisconsin's fair employment law, in which employers can consider criminal histories only when a crime relates to the job. Kleefisch says consumers have a reasonable expectation about where they might encounter dangerous criminals, like at a prison, but not at a retail store or restaurant with the kids. Kleefisch says he's just trying to protect the right people — families, employees, employers and customers.

The Oconomowoc Republican says employers already consider a variety of factors during the hiring process, so why not consider whether an applicant is a convicted sexual predator or murder?

Kleefisch says his bill (AB 206) has bipartisan support, and has passed through committee on an 8-3 vote. Kleefisch is also author of the bill to make child molesters drive around with bright green license plates.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:33 MP3)

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