Ban the Box

On December 15, 2015, Philadelphia passed an enhancement of the Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards Ordinance. In 2011, Philadelphia became the first U.S. city to pass a Ban-the-Box ordinance that restricted both public and private hiring firms from inquiring about, considering or sharing information about non-conviction arrests.

With this amendment, the city has further strengthened its ordinance. According to information on the city’s website, “The law [restricts] when during the application an employer can inquire about someone’s criminal history and [prevents] an employer from ever considering a closed case that did not result in a criminal conviction.”

In the current version of the ordinance, employers with more than 10 employees in Philadelphia cannot:

  • Ask questions about criminal convictions on job applications.
  • Ask about criminal convictions during the first job interview.
  • Conduct criminal background checks before the first job interview.

Unlike New Jersey’s Ban-the-Box law, discussed in an earlier Barada blog, Philadelphia does not include personnel working outside its boundaries when it calculates employer size for qualification. To read more, visit the link above or read this story. To explore the issues regarding timing of background screening and explore recent news on the topic, please visit this Barada resource page.