Philadelphia to Limit the Use of Credit Checks for Employment Purposes

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Philadelphia Limits Credit Reports for Employment Purposes

Special Announcement to all City of Philadelphia, PA employers:

On June 7, 2016, the Mayor of Philadelphia signed an amendment to the “Fair Practices Ordinance”. This law will restrict employers in the city from asking about or obtaining credit check information on employees and applicants.

Under the law, the following restrictions will apply:

§9-1130. Unlawful Credit Screening Practices in Employment.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), it shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to procure, to seek a person’s cooperation or consent to procure, or to use credit check information regarding an employee or applicant in connection with hiring, discharge, tenure, promotion, discipline or consideration of any other terms, condition or privilege of employment with respect to such employee or applicant.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply:

(a) to any law enforcement agency or financial institution;
(b) to the City of Philadelphia with respect to efforts to obtain information regarding taxes or other debts owed to the City;
(c) if such information must be obtained pursuant to state or federal law;
(d) if the job requires an employee to be bonded under City, state, or federal law;
(e) if the job is supervisory or managerial in nature and involves setting the direction or policies of a business or a division, unit or similar part of a business;
(f) if the job involves significant financial responsibility to the employer, including the authority to make payments, transfer money, collect debts, or enter into contracts, but not including handling transactions in a retail setting;
(g) if the job requires access to financial information pertaining to customers, other employees, or the employer, other than information customarily provided in a retail transaction; or
(h) if the job requires access to confidential or proprietary information that derives substantial value from secrecy.

(3) If an employer relies, in whole or in part, on credit check information to consider adverse employment action with respect to any person, and subsection (2)(d),(e),(f),(g) or (h) applies, the employer:

(a) shall disclose the fact of such reliance to the person in writing and identify and provide the particular information upon which the employer relied; and
(b) give the employee or applicant an opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the information at issue before taking any such adverse action.

The full text of this ordinance is available at the City of Philadelphia Bill No. 160072

This law will require a review of the hiring process in place and may require changes to that process.

In addition and to comply with this law, Justifacts recommends that you consult with your legal department. This will help your company determine what changes, if any, need to be made to your hiring process.


It is important to note that Justifacts is providing this information as a service to our clients. None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor is Justifacts engaged to provide legal advice. We go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful. We recommend you consult your attorney or legal department if you want assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.


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