Criminal History Record Information

Employers may consider felony and misdemeanor charges when reviewing a job applicant, but only to the extent that they relate to the person’s suitability for employment.

Effective May 15, 2017

A Ban the Box Law Goes Into Effect in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania implemented a Ban The Box law known as the Fair Chance Hiring Policy to establish "a Commonwealth-wide hiring policy that affords opportunities to individuals with past criminal records to be judged on their skills and qualifications and not solely on their criminal history, by removing the criminal history question from the non-civil service employment application." The goal is to offer individuals who have non-violent criminal offenses an opportunity to gain employment and therefore help them avoid the risk of recidivism. The Secretary of the Office of Administration established and implemented policies that decree:
  • All departments, agencies, boards, commissions, and councils must use the approved job application system.
  • Employers may not consider arrests that did not result in a conviction, were annulled, expunged or pardoned or do not relate to the applicant's suitability for Commonwealth employment.
  • Employers should consider the "public interest of ensuring access to employment for former offenders."

These policies apply to all departments, boards, commissions, and councils under the Governor's jurisdiction for human resources management. They do not apply to positions in which a criminal conviction makes an applicant ineligible​ such as law enforcement, security or working with vulnerable populations. Employers that are not within that jurisdiction are encouraged to adhere to this policy. 
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