New Philadelphia Law Restricts Criminal Records Inquiry On Employment Applications

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On April 13, 2011, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed the Fair Criminal Screening Standards Ordinance, which will change both the application and screening processes for entities with employees working in Philadelphia. This ordinance will become effective on July 12, 2011.

The new law establishes limits and requirements for the screening of criminal records by certain Philadelphia employers, and will likely change both the application and screening processes of many employers. This law generally prohibits unfair discrimination against persons previously arrested or convicted of one or more criminal offenses which are not then pending against the person. The City of Philadelphia passed this law in the hopes that it will help qualified ex-criminal offenders obtain access to employment opportunities, reduce recidivism, increase public safety and stabilize city neighborhoods.

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