4/26/2011 Philadelphia "Ban the Box" Law Protects Those With Criminal Records

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Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has signed into law the “Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards” which will prohibit both public employers and private employers with 10 or more employees from asking applicants if they have been convicted of a crime on the job application.  The law also prohibits employers from making an adverse hiring decision based on an arrest that did not result in a conviction.

This “Ban the Box” legislation (Bill No. 110111-A) was signed into law on April 13, 2011 and will take effect on July 12, 2011.   It is designed to allow those convicted of criminal activity a chance to make it further into the process before an employer can make such inquiries.

Background checks are still permissible and given the fact that employers cannot ask about convictions, it is vitally important they are conducted to ensure an informed hiring decision.

“Ban the Box” legislation is picking up steam across the country as many cities, towns and states have passed or are considering laws which they say will allow those with criminal records to have a fair chance of finding employment.  Most of these laws only affect public employers.  However, the states of Massachusetts and Hawaii are similar to Philadelphia in that they also apply to the private sector as well.

For more information about this law, check out Seyfarth Shaw’s publication, Philadelphia Passes A New “Ban The Criminal Box” Law That Applies To Private Employers.

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