A new Ohio law designed to make convicted criminals more employable means you must immediately review your hiring practices.
Ohio Senate Bill 337 lets job applicants “seal” one felony conviction and one misdemeanor conviction or two misdemeanor convictions. That means they need not disclose those convictions when applying for jobs. Additionally, many juvenile offenses need not be reported. In return, employers are granted partial immunity from certain negligent hiring lawsuits.
The law took effect Sept. 28.
S.B. 337 also assists employers that require state licenses by providing qualified applicants with a Certificate for Qualification for Employment. Employers are immune to any negligent hiring lawsuits for individuals possessing the certificate, unless the employee “subsequently demonstrates dangerousness or is convicted of or pleads guilty to a felony, and if the employer retains the individual as an employee after the demonstration of dangerousness or the conviction or guilty plea.”
Possessing the certificate does not entitle the employee to any preferential treatment after he or she is hired. It merely certifies that the person may hold the applicable license at the time of hire.
Advice: Consult with your attorney to determine if your job applications, descriptions and advertisements comply with the law.