Insight

Philadelphia Issues Ordinance Regarding Use of Credit Checks

Philadelphia Issues Ordinance Regarding Use of Credit Checks

Debbie Rodman Sandler

Debbie Rodman Sandler

May 9, 2019 10:16 AM

By: Debbie Rodman Sandler

On June 7, 2016, Philadelphia amended its Fair Practices Ordinance by adding a section prohibiting employers from obtaining or using credit-related information when making hiring, firing, promotion, discipline or other decisions affecting a term or condition of employment.

There are certain notable exceptions for employers who are law enforcement agencies or financial institutions, and several large loopholes. For example, the prohibition does not apply to employees who must be bonded, higher level employees with financial duties such as payments or collections, jobs requiring access to certain confidential or proprietary information, or jobs requiring access to financial information of customers, other employees or the employer itself. However, if credit information is used to deny an individual one of these jobs, the employer must disclose that fact and give the individual an opportunity to explain the circumstances.

Employees who handle credit card transactions in a retail setting are specifically protected by the law; employers cannot run credit checks before hiring anyone into such a setting.

All employers of one or more people are covered by the law. Employees or applicants who believe they have been harmed can file a complaint with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and thereafter go to court. Available remedies include back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

The law goes into effect on July 7, 2016. Employers who do business in Philadelphia and are using, or are considering using, any kind of credit related information in making employment decisions should consult with counsel before doing so.

If you need advice on this legislation or other labor and employment issues, contact Debbie Sandler (215.864.6203; sandlerd@whiteandwilliams.com) or any member of our Labor and Employment Group for further assistance.

Related Articles

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers: The Employment Law Issue


by Best Lawyers

Featuring the top legal talent from The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America and “Lawyer of the Year” recipients for Labor and Employment Law, Workers’ Compensation Law, ERISA Law and Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law.

Best Lawyers Employment Law Publication

What Does Workplace Harassment Look Like in 2021?


by Victoria E. Langley

The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the U.S. workforce. But has it changed harassment on the job?

Workplace Harassment in 2021

How Spain's Garrigues Trains a Millenial Workforce


by Best Lawyers

In an interview with Best Lawyers, Adriano Gómez of "Law Firm of the Year" Garrigues in Spain offers a look at his career success, labor and employment law, and embracing a millennial workforce.

Garrigues "Law Firm of the Year" Interview

Q&A with Herb Gerson of FordHarrison


by Best Lawyers

A Q&A with Advisory Board member herb Gerson of FordHarrison on the current climate surrounding his practice area and the firm.

Herb Gerson

Trending Articles

The Real Camille: An Interview with Johnny Depp’s Lawyer Camille Vasquez


by Rebecca Blackwell

Camille Vasquez, a young lawyer at Brown Rudnick, sat down with Best Lawyers CEO Phillip Greer to talk about her distinguished career, recently being named partner and what comes next for her.

Camille Vasquez in office

Announcing The Best Lawyers in The United Kingdom™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from the United Kingdom.

The Best Lawyers in The United Kingdom 2023

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: The Best Lawyers Honorees Behind the Litigation


by Gregory Sirico

Best Lawyers takes a look at the recognized legal talent representing Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in their ongoing defamation trial.

Lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Announcing The Best Lawyers in France™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from France.

Blue, white and red strips

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Germany™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Germany.

Black, red and yellow stripes

Education by Trial: Cultivating Legal Expertise in the Courtroom


by Margo Pierce

The intricacies of complex lawsuits require extensive knowledge of the legal precedent. But they also demand a high level of skill in every discipline needed to succeed at trial, such as analyzing technical reports and deposing expert witnesses.

Cultivating Legal Expertise in the Courtroom

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Belgium™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms from Belgium.

Black, yellow and red stripes

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers® in the United States


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and in the 2nd Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2022.

2022 Best Lawyers Listings for United States

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in France


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms, including our inaugural Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recipients.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in France

Choosing a Title Company: What a Seller Should Expect


by Roy D. Oppenheim

When it comes to choosing a title company, how much power exactly does a seller have?

Choosing the Title Company As Seller

We Are Women, We Are Fearless


by Deborah S. Chang and Justin Smulison

Athea Trial Lawyers is a female owned and operated law firm specializing in civil litigation, catastrophic energy, wrongful death and product liability.

Athea Trial Law Female Leadership and Success

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Germany


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms, including our inaugural Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recipients.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers™ in Germany

U.K. Introduces Revisions to Right-to-Work Scheme and Immigration Rules


by Gregory Sirico

Right-to-Work Scheme and Immigration Rules in

Famous Songs Unprotected by Copyright Could Mean Royalties for Some


by Michael B. Fein

A guide to navigating copyright claims on famous songs.

Can I Sing "Happy Birthday" in Public?

Destiny Fulfilled


by Sara Collin

Was Angela Reddock-Wright destined to become a lawyer? It sure seems that way. Yet her path was circuitous. This accomplished employment attorney, turned mediator, arbitrator and ADR specialist nonpareil discusses her career, the role of attorneys in society, the new world of post-pandemic work and why new Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson represents the future.

Interview with Lawyer Angela Reddock-Wright

What the Courts Say About Recording in the Classroom


by Christina Henagen Peer and Peter Zawadski

Students and parents are increasingly asking to use audio devices to record what's being said in the classroom. But is it legal? A recent ruling offer gives the answer to a question confusing parents and administrators alike.

Is It Legal for Students to Record Teachers?