Employment Rights with a Criminal Record

Posted by Joseph Lento | Mar 08, 2021 | 0 Comments

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.

Act 53

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.

About the Author

Joseph Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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