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City of Philadelphia

Ban the Box

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.

Filing A Ban The Box Complaint
The Ban the Box law 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 1 or more employees.