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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 15, 2019 01:02 PM
From: Representative Joanna E. McClinton
To: All House members
Subject: Fair Criminal Record Screening Act
All too often otherwise qualified individuals are not considered for job interviews because they have a past criminal offense. These offenses are often unrelated to the job in question or occurred in adolescence. While both federal and state law offer some protections in this area, it is clear more needs to be done to give these job seekers, as well as those currently employed, a second chance by removing unfair roadblocks to economic stability.

My legislation, entitled the Fair Criminal Record Screening Act, would make several changes to state law to better protect individuals currently employed as well as those applying for open positions who have criminal records. Specifically, this bill would prohibit employers from inquiring about or using information related to a job applicant’s or current employee’s juvenile or summary offenses, cases that did not result in convictions, and cases that were expunged or pardoned when determining an individual’s suitability for employment. Furthermore, my legislation contains specific safeguards for employers to comply with when they determine that an individual’s past criminal record relates to their current position or a position they have applied for. For example, employers must take into account the amount of time that has passed since the offense was committed or the completion of the sentence, whichever is later. To ensure compliance, the bill would require enforcement by the Department of Labor and Industry and set forth penalties for violations.

Several other states have similar statutes in place to help individuals take the steps needed to better their lives and not continually pay for past mistakes. It is past time Pennsylvania joins their ranks. I ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this common-sense reform.

Introduced as HB1505