Credit Checks for Employment in Philadelphia

Posted by BAS - 30 June, 2016


Starting this July, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania employers may not base hiring or other job-related decisions on credit history or other credit related information.

An amendment to the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance now makes it discriminatory for a covered employer to procure, seek to procure, or use credit information of an employee or job applicant in connection with hiring, discharge, tenure, promotion, discipline or consideration of any other term, condition or privilege of employment.  Philadelphia already barred the use of criminal background checks.

Credit information is defined as any written, oral or other communication of information regarding a person’s debt; credit worthiness, standing, capacity, score or history; payment history; charged-off debts; bank account balances or other information; or bankruptcies, judgments, liens, or items under collection.

The law applies to businesses in Philadelphia, but does not apply to financial institutions, law enforcement or the City of Philadelphia when it is collecting debts.  It also does not apply to employers that are required by law to collect credit information.

Employers can continue to use credit information to make employment decisions with respect to jobs with managerial or financial responsibility, including: jobs requiring bonding under law; supervisory or managerial jobs involving setting the direction of a business; jobs involving access to confidential or proprietary information that derives substantial value from secrecy; or jobs involving significant financial responsibility or access to financial information of customers, other employees or the employer.

All employers in Philadelphia should review their hiring and job practices and remove any non-permissible use of credit information.

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