The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations has released the poster employers are required to display under the new amendments to Philadelphia’s “ban the box” law, the Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards Act. The poster must be displayed as of Monday March 14, 2016, the date the new amendments take effect. The ordinance requires that the poster be displayed “in a conspicuous place on the employer’s website and premises, where applicants and employees will be most likely to notice and read it.” 

The poster reiterates the language of the law regarding what an employer must do if an applicant is rejected. The law states that if an employer rejects an applicant in whole or in part based on criminal record information, the employer must notify the applicant in writing of the decision and the decision’s specific basis, provide the applicant with a copy of the background check, and then allow the applicant 10 business days to respond with an explanation or evidence of inaccuracy. 

As written, the statutory language creates tension between the Philadelphia law and the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that is not easily reconciled. However, there are still many questions about this requirement and how this provision of the law will be applied and enforced by the Commission. The Commission has promised forthcoming guidance to clarify this issue.

Employers’ obligations under the amendments to Philadelphia’s ban-the-box law in addition to the ban-the-box laws in other jurisdictions, including all federal and state background check requirements, are summarized in the firm’s O-D Comply: Background Checks and O-D Comply: Employment Applications subscription materials, which are updated and provided to O-D Comply subscribers as the law changes.


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person filling out a request for a criminal background check
Practice Group

Background Checks

Background checks are a trending topic for employers because of the tidal wave of class action lawsuits alleging technical violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act as well as the proliferation of state and local background check laws (including those arising from the Ban the Box movement).

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