Lawsuits Filed Against Schools Due to Changes in Background Check Policy

By Michael Klazema on 2/27/2012

The state of Pennsylvania have been sued by four teachers who are fighting to save their jobs after new laws have been put in place to protect children. Under a new Pennsylvania state law, all school employees, including teachers, administrators, contractors and support staff, must report certain arrests or convictions within three days. The crimes that must be reported include physical assault, sexual assault, homicides and kidnapping. In total, there are 28 crimes that must be reported to authorities.

Four separate lawsuits have been filed against the state due to this new law as the interpretation of the law seems to be causing problems.  The language of the law states that anyone who is convicted of one of these 28 crimes would be terminated from their job immediately. However, it seems to imply that this is only for future employees, not those who are already employed by Pennsylvania schools. It is important to note that those who are filing lawsuits are those who have been convicted of one of these 28 crimes and are at risk of termination due to this new law. If they lose the lawsuits, they will lose their jobs as teachers.

The teachers will be fighting that the law is unconstitutional and that the results of these background checks should not apply to current employees. They state that it violates the due-process rights of the employees and they should not have to suffer further for these crimes as they have already paid their dues to society for the crimes that they have committed. This will be a hard sell in court, however, since many schools have programs where criminal monitoring is done continuously and most companies in the US have similar policies as Pennsylvania schools have. In general, most people believe that this is the right thing to do in order to keep school children safe while in a learning environment.

When it comes to the companies who do these background checks, many of them, like, offer some excellent products that allow companies to make sure they are hiring and retaining employees who have a clean criminal background. There are even products like Ongoing Criminal Monitoring that will be used as an add-on to their other products. When used in conjunction with their other products, criminal monitoring can be used to continuously scan a person’s name and report when new crimes appear on their records. Using these tools can help keep children safe and well while they go through their school day.

About - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services.  Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit


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