Pennsylvania Background Checks laws & HR compliance analysis

Pennsylvania Background Checks: What you need to know

There are a number of ways for employers to gather information on the background of an applicant for employment. Employers may simply call an applicant's former employer to confirm the applicant's dates of employment and title and to try to obtain a more detailed reference from a supervisor. However, more and more frequently, employers are hiring third parties to conduct background checks on applicants who have been offered employment. In addition, depending on the nature of the position, employers are requesting reports about an applicant's driving record, criminal record, and/or credit history. There are often legal limits on employers obtaining and using this type of information. When employers hire a third party to conduct a background check or to obtain reports from outside agencies, such reports are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws.
Philadelphia credit history inquiries. Employers with 10 or more employees are prohibited from obtaining, seeking to obtain, or using the credit information of a job applicant or employee in connection with hiring, tenure, promotion, discipline, or consideration of any other term, condition, or privilege of employment with respect to the employee or applicant (Phila., Pa., Fair Practices Ord. § 9-1130). Law enforcement agencies are no longer automatically exempt from this ordinance.
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In Pennsylvania, an employer may consider conviction information that is part of an employment applicant's criminal history record information file in making a hiring decision only to the extent to which the convictions relate to the applicant's suitability for employment in the applied-for position. The employer must ...

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