On Wednesday of this week, the Philadelphia City Council will hold a hearing on a bill that would greatly affect the criminal background questions employers may ask job seekers during the application and initial interview process.

Bill No. 110111—which would enact the “Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards” and amend Title 9 of the Philadelphia Code—continues Council’s active year with respect to workforce legislation. It would affect organizations with 10 or more employees in the City.

This Bill would make it unlawful, discriminatory conduct for employers to do the following:

  • Inquire about or take any adverse action against any person based on an arrest or criminal accusation not pending against that person and that did not result in a conviction
  • Inquire about criminal convictions during the application process and during the initial interviewing process
  • Retaliate or discriminate against a person who claims that an employer violated the ordinance The bill contains an exception to the above prohibitions if an inquiry or adverse action is otherwise permitted or required by another law.

If you wish to share your views about this bill, here is how:

  • Write or e-mail members of City Council to express your views. To see a list of Philadelphia City Council members, with their addresses, click here.
  • Attend the City Council hearing on this bill on Wednesday, March 16, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in City Hall, Room 400.