Employers cannot consider mere arrests in hiring decisions

Filed under: Criminal Law, Litigation Tags: by Steven F. Fairlie @ March 24, 2012

We are often asked by those recently arrested whether they should even bother looking for a job in light of the arrest. Pennsylvania employers are forbidden from considering a “mere arrest” when making hiring decisions.  18 Pa.C.S.A. § 9125 permits employers to consider felony and misdemeanor convictions as they relate to the type of employment at issue.  By implication, this forbids consideration of arrests that have not yet resulted in conviction. See Cisco v. United Parcel Services, 476 A.2d 1340 (Pa. Super. 1984) (holding that the employer in that case could consider the arrest because it occurred in connection with employment at that employer and impacted the employer’s reputation directly). Further, anyone denied a job in Pennsylvania based on criminal history information must be so advised in writing.

If you have been denied employment because of an arrest that did not result in conviction prior to the denial, or based upon a conviction that was not related to your employment, you should contact our lawyers to discuss whether the denial of employment was lawful, and if not, whether you may have a valid cause of action against the employer.  We have handled cases where potential employees who were unlawfully denied employment because they were not yet convicted have won years of salary from the putative employers.  Had they not contacted us they never would have known they had this option.

There are other cases, statutes, and analyses of this situation so you are encouraged to contact us for a free consultation to further clarify the facts of your particular case.

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