Pennsylvania Background Checks

Health Street’s comprehensive range of criminal background checks in Pennsylvania offers employers a thorough, accurate and affordable look at a job applicant’s records. Whether you’re looking for a basic criminal database search or an in-depth dive into court records, employment history, education degrees, credentials, references and more, Health Street’s Pennsylvania background checks get you exactly what you need to know to protect your staff, business and yourself. Background checks in Pennsylvania from Health Street are guaranteed to be accurate, legal and timely.

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What Pennsylvania Background Checks can I order through Health Street?

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Why Health Street For Pennsylvania Background Checks?

Performing background checks in Pennsylvania isn’t as easy as calling former employers or checking public record databases. Pennsylvania rules and regulations stipulate how much information is disclosed in a legal background check. To further complicate things, procedures and requirements often vary depending on the state, region and even line of work. Health Street navigates the complex process so you can rest assured that you comply with Pennsylvania background check laws.</pHiring a background check company, known in the industry as a Credit Reporting Agency or CRA, is highly advisable. Unfortunately, employers are too often misled into thinking their CRA is doing a thorough and legal background check only to find that they’ve cut corners to save money. This also can lead to serious problems for your business in one of two ways:

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By not uncovering a full picture of criminal activity, meaning the applicant you hired is dangerous or dangerously unqualified.
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By revealing too much information, including things that by law cannot be considered during the hiring process.

The risk of uncovering too much information in a background check might not occur to you, but laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandate that certain protected information cannot be considered by employers when making hiring decisions. When hiring in Pennsylvania, it is crucial to use a CRA that understands the complexity of background check laws in Pennsylvania. Health Street strictly adheres to Pennsylvania background check rules, conducts fair background screens, and follows federal laws, too.

Background Checks Protect Employers and Their Staff in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, state law limits when background checks may be conducted on applicants, as well as what information gleaned from the background check can be used to make a final hiring decision.

A criminal history check is just one of five background checks that may be conducted on a potential new hire. The other checks validate education, licensure, experience, and state tax compliance. The most basic criminal history check is available through State Police Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH), but employers may conduct more detailed background checks through private companies if they require more information.

A background check is only permitted once a conditional offer is extended to an applicant. Unless an exemption has been granted under the state’s Fair Chance Hiring Policy, employers are not able to conduct background checks before this conditional offer.

If a background check comes back with no criminal history, the employer is free to extend a formal offer of employment. However, if there are felony or misdemeanor charges on the background check, the employer must do their due diligence, and determine whether the charges affect the candidate’s suitability for the position. They can do this by asking the applicant to undergo an assessment, or by asking for an explanation of the charges. If the applicant is found to be unsuitable for the position, the employer must inform them in writing.

One new bill that affects background checks and employee hiring in Pennsylvania is the Clean Slate bill, which was signed into law in June 2018. This law “allows minor, non-violent cases to be automatically sealed from public view after time has passed without conviction of a felony or a misdemeanor.” Misdemeanors are sealed from public view after 10 years without reoffence, and for summary offenses, that time drops to 5 years.

Relevant Statistics on Crime in Pennsylvania

As an employer, it can be difficult to decide between hiring when an otherwise ideal candidate has a felony or misdemeanor charge on their record. However, it’s your responsibility to protect not only your customers but also your staff.

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In 2018, Pennsylvania had an estimated 39,192 violent crime incidents, with the majority of those registered as aggravated assaults.
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Property crime state-wide occurred more than 190,000 times, with 13,000 of those incidents related to motor vehicle theft.
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Overall, arrests decreased by 16% from 2012 to 2016, although 12.7% more offenders entered state supervision within the same time frame.

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Citations

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“Background Check Procedures.” Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of Administration – Human Resources, https://www.hrm.oa.pa.gov/hire-sep/filling/Documents/background-check-procedures.pdf
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“HB 1419 | Clean Slate.” ACLU Pennsylvania, 2017-2018 Session, https://www.aclupa.org/en/legislation/hb-1419-clean-slate#:~:text=House%20Bill%201419%20allows%20minor,offenses%2C%20it%20is%205%20years.
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“Employers – What You Need to Know When Hiring Under the New PA Law Which Limits Availability of Criminal Record Information.” Meyer Unkovic Scott Attorneys at Law, 4 September 2018, https://www.muslaw.com/new-pa-law-limits-availability-of-criminal-record-information/
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Guerin, Lisa. “Pennsylvania Law on Employer Use of Arrest and Conviction Records in Hiring.” NOLO, https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/pennsylvania-law-employer-use-arrest-conviction-records-hiring.html
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“Bill Information: Regular Session 2017-2018 House Bill 1419.” Pennsylvania General Assembly, https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billInfo/billInfo.cfm?sYear=2017&sInd=0&body=H&type=B&bn=1419
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“2018 Crime in the United States by State, 2018.” Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2018/crime-in-the-u.s.-2018/tables/table-5
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“Criminal Justice Statistics and Trends: PA Crime Trend Report (2012-2016).” Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency,” https://www.pccd.pa.gov/Justice-Research/Pages/Criminal-Justice-Trends.aspx