CQEs and EmployersFor HirersResources

Your Business and CQEs

How Employers Benefit

1 in 6 Ohioans—over 16% of our available workforce—has a criminal record. Economic research suggests that Ohio is losing $2 billion GDP annually because otherwise qualified workers are excluded by over-restrictive criminal-record-based barriers. For many years, the only legal tool for overcoming these barriers was criminal-record sealing or “expungement.” The 2012 state legislation creating Certificates of Qualification for Employment (CQEs) reintegrates these forgotten workers into our economy, contributing to our shared prosperity.


What are These Certificates?

Many Ohioans think of criminal-record sealing (“expungement”) as the only way to overcome the civil impacts of a criminal conviction. In 2012, however, a new Certificate was created under Ohio law that also removes criminal-record-based barriers to employment, without erasing or hiding the criminal record itself. Certificates of Qualification for Employment (“CQEs”, created by Senate Bill 337, 2012) became available on February 4, 2013.

How does this benefit employers?

CQEs remove mandatory rules prohibiting licensure or employment based on certain criminal records. By removing the mandatory barriers to employment or licensure, the CQE allows an employer or licensing agency its own discretion to individually assess a Certificate-holder’s suitability for the job or license. An employer or licensing agency is not required to hire an individual or issue the license. The Certificate-holder can be treated as any other applicant. This grants individuals eligibility for jobs or licenses they were previously automatically barred from receiving.

Protecting Employers from Negligent-Hiring Liability

CQEs also protect employers from negligent-hiring liability if an employer knowingly hires an individual with a criminal record. CQEs provide an employer immunity from potential liabilities brought against him or her, alleging harm due to negligent hiring. The CQEs provide legal protection from such negligent-hiring lawsuits for employers that knowingly hire Certificate-holders. This helps remove any automatic employer apprehension in hiring an individual with a criminal record.

Learn more here.