Effective December 31, 2019, Pennsylvania amended section 6344(m) of the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL), which pertains to background checks for employees who have contact with children. Specifically, the amendment prohibits employers, administrators, supervisors or other persons responsible for employment decisions from employing applicants on a provisional basis absent a waiver from the department. Child day-care centers, group day-care homes or family child-care homes may apply for a one-time extension not to exceed 45 days only if the following conditions are met.
- The applicant has applied for the information required under section 6344 (b) and the applicant provides a copy of the appropriate completed request forms to the employer, administrator, supervisor or other person responsible for employment decisions.
- The employer, administrator, supervisor or other person responsible for employment decisions has no knowledge of information pertaining to the applicant that would disqualify him or her from employment pursuant to section 6344 (c).
- The applicant swears or affirms in writing that he or she is not disqualified from employment pursuant to section 6344(c) or has not been convicted of an offense similar in nature to those crimes listed in section 6344(c) under the laws or former laws of the United States or one of its territories or possessions, another state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or a foreign nation, or under a former law of this Commonwealth.
Prior to the recent amendment, section 6344 of the CPSL, among other things, allowed employers, administrators, supervisors or other persons responsible for employment decisions to employ applicants on a provisional basis not to exceed 90 days.
Given this recent amendment, employers should review their hiring practices and make the appropriate changes to ensure compliance with the new law.