The state of Pennsylvania recently passed the Clean Slate Act that would seal more than 30 million criminal records. Sealed records will not show up on background checks that may be used by employers, landlords, or colleges. The goal of the Clean Slate Act is to lower barriers to employment and housing for anyone who has a criminal record. The criteria to have their record sealed include:
- Found not guilty in court
- Nonviolent criminal conviction
- No additional criminal offenses within the last 10 years
- Misdemeanor convictions that included less than 2 years in prison
By sealing these criminal records, advocates hope applicants with a criminal record will be evaluated based on their qualifications rather than an offense that is no longer relevant. The Clean Slate Act automatically seals eligible records rather than placing the onus on the individual to seek sealing the record. This act is like other pieces of legislation, such as ‘ban the box’, which prohibits criminal history questions from appearing on applications.
Pennsylvania is the first state to sign this type of legislation, but it should be noted that other states are considering similar bills. Anyone who utilizes background screening should be aware of the constant state of change in the screening landscape. ‘Ban the box’ laws and the new Clean Slate Act in Pennsylvania are examples of laws that continue to restrict what information is available to employers or landlords.
Any organizations unsure of their screening policies or have questions concerning the overall legal landscape should seek a legal professional specializing in these matters.
Learn more about the products and services offered by IntelliCorp.
Visit our blog page to get the latest news on IntelliCorp and the background screening industry.
Visit our profile on G2 Crowd to see what our clients have to say about IntelliCorp and the services we offer.