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Filing A Ban The Box Complaint

The Ban the Box law, formally titled the Philadelphia Fair Criminal Record Screening Standards Ordinance, was enacted as a way to make criminal record screenings by employers fair for ex-offenders. Ban the Box is part of the Philadelphia Code, in Chapter 9-3500. Ban the Box applies to most employers in Philadelphia with 10 or more employees. The law generally prohibits potential employers from:
 
(1) asking about any criminal conviction on an application for employment;

(2) asking about any arrest or criminal accusation which is not then pending and which did not result in a conviction on an application for employment;

(3) asking about any criminal conviction before and during the first interview (if an employer does not conduct any interviews, then they are not permitted to conduct any inquiries regarding criminal records);

(4) asking about any arrest or criminal accusation which is not then pending and which did not result in a conviction at any time during the application process or during employment or making an adverse personnel decisions based on such information.
 
You should complete the Ban the Box form if you feel that an employer has violated Ban the Box.
 
If your complaint is based on unlawful questions asked on an employment application (examples 1 and 2 listed above), you will not be required to participate in the enforcement proceedings so long as you provide the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations a copy of the application.

If your complaint is based on unlawful questions asked during an interview or adverse personnel actions made based on prior arrests or criminal accusations (examples 3 and 4 listed above), a copy of your complaint will be provided to the Respondent. If a hearing is scheduled, you will be required to testify and provide evidence in order to prove a violation of Ban the Box.
 
All employers that are obligated to follow the requirements of Ban the Box and are subject to penalties of up to $2000 for each violation. All penalties assessed are payable to the City of Philadelphia. You will not receive any compensation or other damages for a violation of Ban the Box.
 
NOTE: If you believe that you have been discriminated against on the basis of any category protected by the Fair Practices Ordinance (for example, race, ethnicity, or national origin), you must complete a separate Complaint of Discrimination to be filed with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to pursue such a claim.