What Shows Up on a PA Criminal Background Check?

If you’re one of nearly 80 million Americans with a criminal record, you might be understandably concerned about how your record could affect your job prospects. Many Pennsylvania employers use criminal background checks before hiring someone, especially for jobs that require trust, like handling money or working with vulnerable people. These checks help employers understand an applicant’s criminal history.

When an employer wants to check your background, they must first tell you and get your permission. They usually do this after an interview when they’re seriously considering hiring you. Employers use this information to decide if you’re the right fit for the job.

In Pennsylvania, having a criminal record can make it much harder for you to get a job. When employers run a criminal background check and find a record, they often worry about the applicant’s reliability and how safe it will be to bring them on board. Even though employers must consider each case individually and follow laws that protect job applicants, a criminal record can still be a big hurdle. Some employers might decide not to hire someone based on their criminal history, especially if the crime relates to the position.


What Do Employers See When They Request Criminal Background Checks in Pennsylvania?

When a prospective employer requests a criminal background check in Pennsylvania, they can see the following information:

  • Convictions for felonies and misdemeanors
  • Arrest records for the past seven years
  • Warrants
  • Incarceration and sentencing history
  • Probation and parole information
  • Case numbers and dispositions
  • Pending charges that have been filed


Pennsylvania Criminal Background Check Laws

In Pennsylvania, several laws govern how employers can use criminal background checks. These laws aim to protect both the employer’s need for safety and the applicant’s right to fair treatment. They ensure that the process remains fair and does not unfairly prevent people with criminal records from getting jobs.

Here’s a breakdown of these important laws:

  • Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA): This Act restricts how employers can use criminal history information. It allows employers to consider felony and misdemeanor convictions in relation to the job, but not arrests that did not lead to conviction. Employers must also consider the nature of the crime, its relevance to the job, and how much time has passed since the conviction.
  • Clean Slate Law: This law automatically seals certain criminal records provided that the individual has remained crime-free. This includes charges that resulted in non-convictions, summary convictions after ten years, and misdemeanor convictions after ten years. Sealed records are not available to most employers during a background check.
  • “Ban the Box” Laws: In certain cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, “Ban the Box” laws prohibit employers from asking about criminal history on job applications or in initial interviews. This law aims to help individuals with criminal records get a fair chance to demonstrate their qualifications before their criminal histories come under review.


Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Pennsylvania

Are you worried about how a criminal background check in Pennsylvania might affect your job prospects? Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. Contact Chieppor & Egner, LLC today. Our experienced team can help you explore options like expungement to clear your record, which could give you a fresh start. We can also protect your rights if you believe an employer has violated Pennsylvania employment law during your hiring process.

Call now or fill out our online contact form to learn more in a free consultation session.

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