OJL Federal Bonding Program

Individuals with criminal histories often find the reentry process challenging due to the employment barriers created by the criminal offense(s). Ex-offenders are routinely classified as “at risk” job applicants and routinely denied employment.  Employers view these applicants as being potentially untrustworthy.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) sought a means of eliminating bonding as a barrier to employment to ease employer concerns that “at risk” job applicants would be untrustworthy workers.  In 1966, the DOL created a Federal Bonding Program that would cover anyone who was at risk and was formerly classified as NOT BONDABLE.

Since 1998, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has managed the Federal Bonding Program.   For the bond to be processed and issued, the employer must make the applicant a job offer and set a date for the individual to begin work.  Fidelity Bond Insurance is effective for six (months) with a coverage amount of $5,000 free to the employer and expires six months later.  After the six months, continued coverage will be made available if the worker has exhibited job honesty under the program’s bond.

Ohio’s eligibility criteria:

  • The ex-offender’s criminal history must be verifiable
  • The ex-offender is not self-employed or on a personal service contract
  • Employment must be full-time or part-time for which payroll taxes are deducted
  • The applicant must receive a job offer and the employer must schedule a start or hire date

In order to ensure that job seekers and employers are able to utilize the bond to full capacity, bonds are not written until an offer of employment has been made.

The Federal Bonding Program is currently administered by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC).  To obtain further information or to initiate the bonding process, please contact the DRC Ohio Central School System (740) 845-3240 and/or email.

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