One of the more frustrating limitations that a criminal record imposes is fewer employment options. Millions of Americans nationwide cannot find well-paying jobs that match their skillsets due to their prior offenses.
Since there's an ongoing stigma surrounding criminal record holders, some laws exist to prevent unfair treatment and blatant discrimination against applicants.
One Inquirer article highlights how you can still expect fair treatment and a transparent HR process in states like Pennsylvania despite your criminal record. While the protections don't guarantee a position, they make it harder for employers to refuse your application.
Know Your Rights
If you have a criminal record and face discrimination by employers, it's essential to know your rights. While employers can still refuse an applicant for their criminal history, they must comply with state and federal laws that offer applicants protection.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
According to this law, any employer who plans to refuse an applicant due to a criminal record must provide a legitimate business reason. The employer must carefully consider the applicant's charge, how much time passed, and its relation to the applicant's duties.
Pennsylvania's Criminal History Record Information Act
Employers in Pennsylvania can only consider felonies and misdemeanors. Arrests and summary offenses do not count. They must consider whether the conviction affects employment suitability for the position and inform the applicant in writing.
Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards Ordinance
In PA, employers cannot ask about a person's criminal record when applying for a job. If the crime happened over seven years ago, the employer must consider the application. Moreover, they must make a conditional job offer before they perform a background check.
If a refusal does happen, the employer must send the applicant a copy of their background check. The applicant has a 10-day window to explain to the employer why their record will not affect their work performance.
Allows people with criminal records to obtain specific licenses if the crime was unrelated to their profession. However, some exceptions apply depending on the nature of the crime. An example of this is if a person poses a substantial risk to others.
With the sealing of records or expungement comes the most freedoms. When a criminal history is erased or no longer available for public view, an applicant can claim that the incident never happened.
How An Attorney Helps
It's incredibly frustrating when you're trying to move forward with your life but cannot due to your criminal record. A skilled attorney like Joseph D. Lento can help you receive an expungement on your criminal record if it meets specific criteria.
With a clear history, you can look forward to better employment opportunities and don't have to be under the mercy of a would-be employer. Even with protections in place, some employers will not hesitate to discount your professional value due to a misdemeanor or non-violent incident.
Call Lento Law Firm today to discuss your options and see whether you qualify for an expungement today at 888-535-3686.