Philadelphia, PA: Employer Limitations on Credit History Checks Further Expanded


All Employers Hiring in City of Philadelphia


February 20, 2021


Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

In 2016, the City of Philadelphia passed the “Fair Practices Ordinance,” prohibiting employers from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of credit history and credit-related information.  On January 20, 2021, an amendment to this ordinance was enacted, decreasing certain employer and job-specific exemptions.

The ordinance prohibits employers from inquiring into, obtaining, or otherwise using credit-related information to take adverse employment actions, such as hiring, firing, promoting, or disciplining an employee or applicant.  Specific exemptions to this provision applied, but under the latest amendments effective February 20, 2021, law enforcement agencies and financial institutions (inclusive of insurance companies, banks, credit unions, etc.) are no longer exempt.

If employers intend to rely on any exceptions, the employer must first (1) disclose reliance upon credit history to the applicant or employee in writing, and provide the specific information the employer references; and (2) give the applicant or employee an opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding the information prior to taking any adverse action.

Action Items

  1. Review the text of the bill here.
  2. Update hiring and background screening practices for compliance with the amended ordinance.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2021 ManagEase