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New Ohio Law Should Make it Easier for Criminal Convicts to Obtain Employment

A lengthy and complicated new law enacted by the Ohio legislature includes provisions that will make it easier for individuals with conviction histories to obtain employment and occupational licenses. Senate Bill 337 amends several Ohio statutes relating to collateral sanctions for criminal offenses by creating certificates of qualification for employment, reducing licensing restrictions for certain fields and expanding courts’ authority to seal criminal records. A collateral sanction is a penalty, disability, or disadvantage that is related to employment or occupational licensing as a result of the individual’s conviction of, or plea of guilty to, an offense. Presumably, the relaxing of standards for sealing criminal records will render background checks for criminal convictions less reliable. The new law enables an individual who is subject to a collateral sanction to obtain a certificate of qualification for employment that will provide relief from certain bars on employment. The law also provides that an employer that knew of the certificate at the time of hiring will have immunity from liability as to a claim brought against it alleging harm due to the individual’s alleged negligent hiring.

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Posted Under: Criminal Records

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