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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 9, 2021 03:44 PM
From: Senator Judy Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Provisional Hiring Parity Legislation
I plan to introduce legislation amending the Child Protective Services Law to place an employer’s ability to hire an employee, who has direct contact with children, on a provisional basis on par with the 45-day provisional hiring window that is currently authorized for child-care providers.
After passage of Act 47 of 2019 (HB 235), the provisional hiring window child-care providers could utilize when hiring employees was reduced from 90 days to 45 days. However, unexplainably, the provisional hiring window for all other employers who hire and supervise employees or volunteers who are in direct contact with children was reduced from 90 days to zero. The complete elimination of a provisional hiring window for all employees other than employees of child-care providers has caused considerable hardship to both employers and employees who must wait 3-4 weeks before the employee is legally able to start working.
The negative impact of this inequitable standard is already being felt throughout the Commonwealth. The enormity of the problem will only be compounded as the summer nears and parks and recreation agencies, public and private pools, beaches, lakes, public parks, school districts, colleges and universities, churches, museums, science centers, environmental centers, nature centers, amusement and water parks, Boy & Girl Scouts, YMCA/YWCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, athletic leagues, Police Athletic Leagues, gyms and rec centers, campgrounds, municipalities, resorts, and golf courses, all begin to hire seasonal workers for the summer.
To fix this problem, my legislation will provide parity in the 45-day provisional hiring window for employees of both child-care providers and any other employer who hires and supervises employees who have direct contact with children.
As per current law, the following conditions must still be met before the commencement of employment and while the applicant is provisionally employed:
     •The applicant must have applied for the necessary background checks and provided proof to the 
     •The employer must have no knowledge of information that would disqualify the applicant.
     •The applicant must affirm in writing they are not disqualified from employment by reason of being listed on
       the abuse registry or being convicted of a disqualifying offense.
     •The employer, administrator, supervisor or other person responsible for employment decisions requires
       that the applicant not be permitted to work alone with children and that the applicant work in the
       immediate vicinity of a permanent employee.
This will be a companion bill to Representative Brett Miller’s House Bill 764. During the 2019-20 legislative session, this measure (HB 2503) was approved by the House of Representatives but failed to achieve final passage by the end of the session.
Please join me providing provisional hiring parity for all employers by co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB606