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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2014 01:34 PM
From: Senator John R. Gordner
To: All Senate members
Subject: Use of Arrest Record in Employment
I will be reintroducing Senate Bill 1044 of the 2013-14 session. The legislation prohibits an employer from asking a prospective employee whether that person has ever been arrested when the arrest resulted in charges being withdrawn or if there was a not guilty verdict.

I am aware of a constituent finding it difficult to find employment because he was once arrested on multiple felony charges. While he was found not guilty on all counts, he found it nearly impossible to find gainful employment because it is not illegal for an employer to inquire about such arrests under current state law. I feel an arrest should not be held against someone if the case comes to conclusion without a conviction. Several states, including neighboring Ohio and New York, currently have laws in place to prevent this practice.

My bill would not change existing law that permits employers to consider felony and misdemeanor convictions to the extent to which they relate to the applicant's suitability for the position applied. Further, current law would continue to apply to charges that have been filed and are pending.

Previous co-sponsors of Senate Bill 1044 were Senators Kitchen, Greenleaf, Rafferty, Costa, Fontana, Brewster, Eichelberger, Baker, Vulakovich and Teplitz.

I invite your co-sponsorship of this legislation. Please contact my office with any questions.

Introduced as SB131