Bethlehem Criminal Record Discrimination Attorneys

Serving the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania Area

Pennsylvania law restricts an employer’s ability to use a prospective employee’s criminal record in making hiring decisions. In Pennsylvania, “felony and misdemeanor convictions may be considered by the employer only to the extent to which they relate to the applicant’s suitability for employment in the position for which he has applied.” Further, “the employer shall notify in writing the applicant if the decision not to hire the applicant is based in whole or in part on criminal history record information.”

Any individual who has been discriminated against because of his or her criminal record may file a lawsuit against the offending employer. Additional means of seeking relief may be available to certain classes of individuals. Historically, the criminal records of job applicants have often been used to discriminate against blacks and Latinos. Accordingly, if you are black or Latino and an employer has refused to hire you on the basis of your criminal record, you may also have a race, color or national origin discrimination claim against that employer pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Employers today will rarely discriminate in an open and explicit manner. For example, if an employer unlawfully refuses to hire an individual because of his criminal record, the employer will not typically acknowledge to the individual that he is being discriminated against on account of that record.

However, just because discrimination is not open and obvious does not mean that it does not occur. One way a prospective employee can prove discrimination on the basis of his or her criminal record is to show that the employer has hired employees with the same qualifications but who lacked a criminal record. Similarly, to establish a case of race, color or national origin discrimination, an employee or prospective employee may show that other employees of a different race, color or national origin who are similarly situated to the discriminated-against employee were treated differently. If you have suffered an adverse employment action, such as a refusal to be hired for a job for which you are qualified, and similarly-situated employees who lack a criminal record or who are of a different race, color or national origin did not suffer the adverse employment action, you may have a discrimination claim against the employer.

If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of your criminal record, call an employment discrimination attorney at Littner, Deschler & Littner immediately to discuss your case. We can assist you in reviewing your options and the strength of your case. We can help you understand whether your criminal record does or does not relate to your suitably for the applied-for position. Do not lose your right to bring a claim and get the relief you deserve. Schedule an appointment with Littner, Deschler & Littner today.