Criminal Background Checks Pennsylvania

BCJ Law helps workers wrongfully denied jobs or licensing because of improper use of criminal background checks. To get a free case review from BCJ Law’s employment attorney, call 1-800-997-5561 or complete our contact form.

What is a criminal background check?

A criminal background check simply refers to a search of your criminal history. This can be done informally, either in-person, over the phone, or using the internet. Employers and licensing agencies also may hire professionals or contact state agencies to obtain your arrest or conviction records.

How can employers use criminal background information?

A Pennsylvania law called the Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) limits how employers and licensing agencies can use information in a criminal background check. Here are the limitations and obligations the CHRIA places on employers and licensors:

  • Arrests Records: cannot be considered if they did not lead to a conviction.
  • Misdemeanors and Felonies: these can be considered, but only the extent they related directly to your ability to perform the job at issue.
  • Notice of Adverse Action: employers must give written notice if adverse decisions are based on a criminal background check.

Some employers are required by statute to pull background checks on criminal history. These including schools, hospitals, nursing homes, home healthcare agencies, public transit providers, and other employers. 

Examples of potentially unlawful practices.

Here are some practices that may be unlawful under the CHRIA and other Pennsylvania or federal employment laws:

  • Asking about arrest history during an interview or on a job application.
  • Excluding individuals based on arrest history.
  • Blanket policy of excluding individuals based on misdemeanors or felonies.
  • Excluding individuals based on misdemeanors or felonies that don't relate to ability to complete the job at issue.
  • Excluding individuals based on relatively minor or old criminal convictions.

Hire BCJ Law to help!

If you believe you were denied a job or licensure based off improper considered of a criminal background check, please contact BCJ Law for help. To get a free case review from our overtime wage attorney, call us at 1-800-997-5561 or complete our contact form.

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