Ohio Background Checks laws & HR compliance analysis

Ohio Background Checks: What you need to know

There are a number of ways for employers to gather information on the background of an applicant for employment. Employers may simply call an applicant's former employer to confirm the applicant's dates of employment and title and to try to obtain a more detailed reference from a supervisor. However, more and more frequently, employers are hiring third parties to conduct background checks on applicants who have been offered employment. In addition, depending on the nature of the position, employers are requesting reports about an applicant's driving record, criminal record, and/or credit history. There are often legal limits on employers' obtaining and using this type of information. When employers hire a third party to conduct a background check or obtain reports from outside agencies, such reports are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws. Ohio has laws relating to criminal background checks, preemployment inquiries concerning arrests and convictions, and driver's record information.
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There is no state law prohibiting the use of conviction records in employment decisions. In fact, criminal background checks are required by federal and/or state law for certain types of jobs. However, according to guidelines issued by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, it is discriminatory to ask job applicants about arrests that did not result in convictions, unless a bona fide occupational qualification is certified in advance by the Commission (OH Rev. Stat. Sec. 4112.02). Further, state law provides that a job applicant may not be questioned about any arrest for which the records have been expunged. If an employer asks about expunged records, ...

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