Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.
Certificate of Qualification for Employment Project
Everyone deserves the right to have the ability to get a job to provide for themselves and their families. Some employers refuse to hire a person with a criminal conviction. Ohio law allows for criminal record sealing in certain cases, but limits exist. ABLE advocates work with people through our Certificate of Qualification for Employment Project when record sealing is not available. The CQE removes automatic barriers for workers seeking certain licenses and provides employers with legal protections as well.
Iyisha’s Story: Life After Conviction
When Iyisha* was 18-years-old, she pled guilty to a felony. The felony was not eligible for expungement. The sole provider for her disabled mother and her nine-year-old sister, Iyisha worked two jobs and completed two years toward an occupational therapy degree while in high school. The felony conviction has created a barrier for Iyisha to become hired as an occupational therapist because she is unable to get the required license. Iyisha’s goal is to get a good job that provides benefits, decent pay and will allow her to buy a home and adopt a child.
An ABLE attorney helped Iyisha file her CQE application in March 2019 and the court granted its first 2019 CQE to Iyisha in July. Iyisha is now working with local lawmakers to advocate for a change in the law regarding expungement. You can learn more about Iyisha’s story here.
* Story shared with client's permission ; name changed to protect her privacy.