Pennsylvania Hiring laws & HR compliance analysis

Pennsylvania Hiring: What you need to know

Discrimination. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act prohibits hiring practices that discriminate against an applicant, employee, or independent contractor on the basis of race, color, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, non-job-related handicap or disability, or the use of a guide or support animal because of the blindness, deafness, or physical disability of any individual or independent contractor (Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 43, § 951 et seq.). The Act covers all public employers and private employers with four or more employees. More information is available at thePennsylvania Discrimination and Disabilities (ADA) sections.
Employers are prohibited from making any inquiry, using any employment application, or maintaining any record for the purpose of identifying an applicant's protected status. Employers may, however, inquire as to an applicant's ability to perform essential job functions (Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 43, § 955(b)(1)).
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Education. Employers may not favor an applicant or employee with a high school diploma over others possessing a general education development (GED) certificate. However, if vocational technical training or other special training is required with regard to a specific position, that training may be considered by the employer (Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 43, § 955(k)).
Bankruptcy. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it is not a violation of federal bankruptcy law for a private employer to refuse to hire an individual on the basis of a prior bankruptcy filing (Rea v. Federated Investors, 627 F.3d 937 (3d Cir. 2010)). The lawsuit was brought after a private employer refused to hire a prospective employee because he had filed for bankruptcy seven ...

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