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Employment with a Criminal Record

Employment with a Criminal Record

Having a criminal record can affect your ability to find employment.  Although federal and state law allows employers to consider felony and misdemeanor convictions that are related to the job that you may be seeking, the employer must consider multiple factors before making a decision.  Employers should consider how much time has passed since the crime, how serious it is, and whether it is related to the job.  Therefore, employers should not automatically refuse to hire you due to a criminal record, unless they are prohibited from doing so because of a specific law.  

There are special rules governing employment of individuals with criminal records in the elder and child care fields.  The Older Adult Protective Services Act and the Child Protective Services Law dictate who employers may hire as employees.  Further, due to successful legal challenges to portions of these laws, there are interim policies in place governing how these laws may apply to you.  If you are told by an employer that it is prohibited from hiring you in one of these fields due to your criminal record, you should consult an attorney for assistance.  

Employers are not allowed to consider arrest records that did not result in a conviction or summary-level convictions.  If an employer automatically turns you away because of something on your record, you could be the victim of unlawful discrimination and should consult an attorney about your legal rights. 

How to get help:

Walk-in Intake

Community Legal Services
Center City Office

1424 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Monday -  Friday
9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Community Legal Services
North Philadelphia Law Center

1410 West Erie Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
9:00 am -12:00 pm