Ohio Attorney General to Warn Employers about Criminal Background Check Law

To avoid a false sense of security about job applicants during employment screening, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine plans to warn employers in the state that criminal background checks processed by his office under a new law will only include information about convictions and guilty pleas and will not include arrests and charges that did not result in convictions, the Associated Press (AP) reports. The full AP story is available at http://www.marionstar.com/viewart/20130116/NEWS01/301160002/Ohio-AG-advises-employers-about-background-checks.

The AP reports that the law is designed to make it easier for ex-offenders to find work after serving their prison sentence by shielding information about people who have been arrested but not convicted that used to be included in background check report. The AP says law will affect the following categories:

  • Juveniles convicted of serious crimes that are not required to be reported,
  • Adults with recent arrests with cases that have not been concluded, and
  • Adults who violated their bail conditions years ago and moved to avoid prosecution.

However, the AP quotes Attorney General DeWine saying he has a list of background check “horror stories” that consist mainly of juveniles involving serious crimes that cannot be reported under the law which states only juvenile convictions for murder, aggravated murder, and sex crimes where a juvenile was labeled a sex offender can be reported. The AP reports DeWine cited the case of a county children’s service agency that requested a background check on a job applicant who turned out to have a 2006 juvenile rape conviction that could not be reported since he was not labeled a sex offender.

As reported in the ESR News blog in August 2012, Ohio passed a law – Senate Bill 337 (SB 337) – to offer protections for employers hiring job applicants with criminal records. The law, which took effect September 28, 2012, reformed collateral sanctions that impose employment restrictions and limitations on Ohioans with misdemeanor and felony convictions. With SB 337, Ohio joined Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina in offering protections for employers that hire and employ rehabilitated ex-offenders from tort liability for negligent hiring and retention claims. The text of SB 337 is available at http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=129_SB_337.

For information about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority’ and nationwide screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – at http://www.esrcheck.com or call Toll Free 888.999.4474.

Sources:

http://www.marionstar.com/viewart/20130116/NEWS01/301160002/Ohio-AG-advises-employers-about-background-checks

http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/2012/08/17/ohio-law-reforms-collateral-sanctions-and-offers-protections-for-employers-hiring-job-applicants-with-criminal-records/

http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=129_SB_337

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):

Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check AuthoritySM’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit http://www.esrcheck.com or call toll free 888.999.4474.

About ESR News:

The Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at tahearn@esrcheck.com. To subscribe to the ESR News Blog Feed, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/feed/. To subscribe to the complimentary ESRcheck Report monthly newsletter, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/Newsletter/.