enial Of Employment Due To Criminal Background Checks

Denial Of Employment Due To Criminal Background Checks

Employers may do credit and criminal background checks of job applicants when making hiring decisions. But individuals have a few important rights.

One important law protecting employees is the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Under this law, if an employer does a background check when considering an individual for a job, the employer must give a copy of the background report to the individual prior to making a hiring decision. The applicant must then be given an opportunity to correct or challenge what’s in the report, and an opportunity to provide an explanation or details about the report’s contents. The law requires employers to give job applicants a chance to be heard before making a final decision.

As well, both federal and state laws limit employers in how they consider a job applicant’s prior criminal history. Generally, employers may only hold prior criminal offenses against a job applicant if the prior offense affects the applicant’s suitability for the job. For example, a bank need not hire a job applicant who has a history of embezzlement. But on the other hand, a bank probably cannot refuse to hire someone just because he or she was convicted of disorderly conduct 15 years earlier. Some state laws require employers to notify applicants in writing if they’ve been denied a job due to prior criminal offenses.

At the Weinstein Law Firm, LLC, we have fought for individuals who have been unfairly denied jobs based on prior criminal offenses or background checks. We’ve done these cases throughout the eastern half of Pennsylvania, from Williamsport to Scranton, down to Allentown, Pottsville and Harrisburg, and in Philadelphia and its suburbs. In fact, we’ve won a landmark case on this issue which we can explain in further detail upon request.