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Can we ask applicants about criminal convictions? What can we do with that information?

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in Employment Background Check,Hiring,Human Resources

Q. Our employment application asks whether the candidate has been convicted of a felony. Is it legal for us to ask this? If so, can we ask what the applicant has been convicted of and can that information be used as a basis for not hiring an individual?

A. Yes, the question is legal. Under Pennsylvania law, you may ask job applicants whether they ever have been convicted of a crime and, if so, to identify the crime. You may not ask about arrests.

You may deny employment based on a conviction only if the conviction relates to the applicant’s suitability for the job for which he or she is applying. If you use a third-party company to conduct a criminal history search, you must comply with the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act

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