Work it Out Blog

Ohio Fair Hiring Act May Require Changes to Your Pre-Employment Policies and Procedures

Oct 08, 2015 by Jill C. McQueen

The Ohio House of Representatives recently voted to approve the “Ohio Fair Hiring Act”.  This bill would limit a public entity’s ability to inquire into a job applicant’s criminal past.  Under the bill, candidates for government employment could no longer be asked about their criminal history on an employment application.  Not until an applicant has been selected for the position could he or she be asked about any convictions.  In other words, covered non-federal government employers, including cities, counties, and townships, would not be permitted to pose these questions until very late in the hiring process.   

Does the Ohio Fair Hiring Act affect private businesses?

The limitations of the bill would not extend to individuals seeking private employment.   Nor would House Bill 56 prevent a government employer from rejecting an applicant once a criminal history has been disclosed.  Before rejecting a candidate on this basis, however, the employer would first have to consider several factors, including the seriousness of the offense and its relationship to the job in question. 

The bill, which was sponsored by Representatives Kirk Schuring (R) and Stephen Slesnick (D), passed in the House by a vote of 91 to 1.  We will keep you updated as the bill moves on to the Ohio Senate for further action. 

If you have questions regarding the Ohio Fair Hiring Act, or other pre-employment and employment policies, please contact Jill McQueen or your Day Ketterer Attorney at 330.455.0173 or

The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for any purpose. This blog is not intended to present an exhaustive summary of all applicable laws, or to take the place of legal advice.  If you have any questions regarding the law, please contact us for assistance.