Certificates of Qualification for Employment (CQEs) are available to individuals with criminal records through a 2012 Ohio law (Senate Bill 337). CQEs exist to alleviate some of the barriers that prevent individuals with a criminal backgrounds from being employed.

What does it mean for an individual to hold a CQE?

A CQE holder has voluntarily gone through a rigorous review process by Ohio rehabilitation officials, a judge, and a probation department. Through the review process, the following has been determined:

  1. the CQE will materially assist the individual in obtaining employment and/or occupational licensing
  2. the individual has a substantial need for the CQE in order to live a law-abiding life
  3. the person obtaining the CQE does not pose an unreasonable risk to any individual or to the public

How does a CQE benefit the employer?

A CQE provides employers with immunity from negligent hiring claims. An employer that has taken due care in the hiring process cannot be held liable in a civil action if the employer was aware of the CQE at the time of the alleged negligence. Employers can access a CQE fact sheet to print or share here.

How does a CQE benefit a job candidate? 

The CQE allows employers to consider job candidates with criminal records who would have previously been excluded from consideration. Applicants can access a CQE fact sheet to print or share here.

See the following links for more information on CQEs

For more information about CQE’s, fair hiring practices, tax credits and bonding services, or other questions around hiring individuals with criminal backgrounds, please contact info@towardsemployment.org.