Philly Helps Those Convicted of Crime to Find Jobs

Posted May 3, 2011 in Labor and Employment by Arthur Buono

The labor market remains tough but Philadelphia just gave a break to some job seekers. The city council has passed an ordinance prohibiting most employers from initially asking about an applicant’s criminal history. Is this a good thing?

  • Philadelphia prohibits employers from asking about criminal history on first date
  • Goal is to give persons convicted of crime a foot in employment door
  • Expungement a way to remove criminal record in some cases
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Taking Rehabilitation One Step Further

Philadelphia’s ordinance follows a trend. Massachusetts lawmakers proposed a similar measure last fall. The idea is to keep employers from rejecting applicants out of hand before getting to know them better.

Will it matter? Because it’s not the law that an employer can’t hold that conviction against you. But it’s a goal of the law to help with the rehabilitation of persons convicted of crimes, who understandably find it tough to land a job.

Certain offenders can seal their criminal records from the public. It’s called expungement. Expungement may apply to arrests and convictions for certain minor offenses and juvenile records. But expungement laws generally require the offender to have kept it clean to gain this benefit.

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