Thursday, May 03, 2012

Ohio Juvenile Criminal Record Searches

The Columbus Dispatch yesterday morning had an article about Ohio House Bill 524 and Senate Bill 337, both "target removing barriers to employment for the one in six Ohioans with non-violent misdemeanor or felony records."

Under some of the provisions of those bills some automatic barriers in state law to the hiring of ex-felons, such as obtaining some occupational licenses, would give way to discretionary calls on ex-convicts who can demonstrate they've been rehabilitated; employers, and the general public, would be prevented from learning if would-be hires had criminal records as juveniles under the age of 17, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation would be restrained from reporting juvenile convictions in the 780,000 criminal-background checks it conducts each year for employers and others.

Last week we reported the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's approving & issuing new rules for employers using criminal background checks, calling for careful consideration of how and when such reviews can be used in pre-employment screenings and in the workplace because of their potential to be biased against certain groups, such as racial minorities. EEOC’s press release is here., BusinessWeek, The New York Times, and Reuters all had articles as well. [ EEOC's new Enforcement Guide ]

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