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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 4, 2017 12:44 PM
From: Senator John R. Gordner
To: All Senate members
Subject: Use of Arrest Records in Employment
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation that would prohibit an employer from asking a prospective employee whether that person has ever been arrested when the arrest resulted in the charges being withdrawn or if there was a not guilty verdict. It was SB 131 in the 2015-16 Session.

I am aware of a constituent that is finding it difficult to find employment because he was once arrested on multiple felony charges. While he was found not guilty on every charge, he has found it nearly impossible to find gainful employment because it is not illegal for an employer to inquire about these arrests under current state law. Surely my constituent is not alone. I feel that an arrest should not be held against someone if the case has come to a conclusion without a conviction. In addition, several of our sister states, including New York and Ohio, currently have laws in place that prohibit 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 that he or she has applied. Further, current law would continue to apply to charges that have been filed and are currently pending.

I welcome your co-sponsorship of this legislation. Please contact my office if you have any questions.

Introduced as SB276