Friday, February 18, 2011

Proposed House Bill Would Prohibit Disclosure of Prior Criminal Convictions on Employment Applications in Pennsylvania

House Bill 747, which was introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly on February 17, 2011, would amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (Pennsylvania's Title VII / ADA / ADEA equivalent), to prohibit employers with more than four employees in Pennsylvania to require job applicants to disclose criminal histories on employment applications, unless the job being applied for has predetermined security regulations established by the Federal or State Governments.

Pennsylvania law already limits the manner in which an employer may use a job applicant's criminal history record. In deciding on whether or not to hire a job applicant, an employer may only consider the applicant's prior felony or misdemeanor convictions to the extent that those convictions "relate to the applicant's suitability for employment in the position for which he has applied," and must notify a job applicant in writing if the decision not to hire the applicant was based "in whole or in part on criminal history record information."