Ex-cons in Ohio: getting on the state’s payroll is about to get easier

Angela Preston

Ohio’s governor John Kasich is trying to make it easier for ex-cons to get on the State of Ohio payroll. As reported today by the Columbus Dispatch, the Kasich administration is working with private organizations to remove questions concerning criminal history from state job applications. According to the article, the state will still conduct background checks, but later in the process—after a candidate has been screened for qualifications.

The Governor was quoted as saying “We have rules that are overly punitive. That’s just not right.” As part of the proposed changes, the Ohio prisons director is also working with state lawmakers to ease requirements for some jobs that call for a clear criminal record. The argument is that laws preventing ex-offenders from becoming a teacher, getting a professional license, working as a security guard or in a casino are overly restrictive and are keeping ex-offenders from getting back to work.

While the article contained conflicting information as to whether the state would be removing the check box on state employment forms, the proposed changes certainly appear to be part of the growing trend to “Ban the Box”—a movement that is gaining momentum across the country in both the public and private sectors. Tell us what you think.

Angela Preston
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Angela Preston

Vice President of Compliance & General Counsel at EmployeeScreenIQ
Angela Preston has more than 20 years as a licensed attorney and over 10 years in the background screening area. She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), is a member of the NAPBS Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC), and is actively involved in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and ASIS International. Angela is also a member of the Ohio State and Columbus Bar Associations. Angela has direct oversight and management of compliance programs, and will provide guidance in complex legal matters including state and federal legislation, EEO law, client education, adjudication, pre/adverse action process, NAPBS Accreditation and client and vendor contract management.
Angela Preston
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