Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced this month that he will “ban the box” for some applicants applying for certain state government positions, and that he will do so by executive order, which would take effect as of July 1, 2017. The executive order would affect hiring in nearly 70,000 state jobs within the executive branch of government. Like most “ban the box” rules, the order would not prohibit running criminal record background checks and inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history after the initial application stage.
Wolf recently remarked, “We have a robust system of supervision and rehabilitative services that gives reentrants to the community all the tools they need to put their lives back on track, get the skills they need to get a job and get moving again … . But, too often, one small check mark can jeopardize the future that we all need them to pursue and reach.”
This ordinance is consistent with recent increases in legislative scrutiny of employment application practices, with many states and localities having enacted similar legislation focusing on an applicant’s criminal history at the initial application stage.
Troutman Sanders will continue to monitor related legislative developments concerning employment background screening and employee hiring.