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Ban The Box

“Ban the Box,” or the Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards Ordinance, helps make sure that employers make hiring and other employment decisions based on relevant work qualifications without improperly considering a person’s criminal record. The law does this by restricting when during the application an employer can inquire about someone’s criminal history and by preventing an employer from ever considering a closed case that did not result in a criminal conviction.

Ban the Box Does...

  • Require employers to remove questions about criminal convictions from their job applications.
  • Prevent employers from asking about criminal convictions during your first job interview.
  • Protect job applicants from having criminal background checks done before the first job interview.
  • Prohibit employers from firing you or making any other employment decision based on a closed case that did not result in a criminal conviction.

Ban the Ban Does Not...

  • Prevent employers from ever asking about your criminal record. The law only prohibits an employer from asking about an applicant’s criminal record on the application and during the first interview.
  • Guarantee that a person with a criminal record will get the job.
  • Award money or other damages to the person who filed the complaint. Companies that violate the law could be required to pay up to $2,000 for each violation, but those penalties must be paid to the City of Philadelphia.
  • Protect applicants for jobs located outside Philadelphia.
  • Apply to private companies with fewer than 10 employees in Philadelphia.
  • Cover Criminal Justice Agencies, such as prisons, courts and police departments.
  • Prevent an employer from doing anything that is specifically required by state or federal law.