Delaware Valley Metropolitan Region

The Delaware Valley, an expansive urban zone that touches four states, is the eighth-largest metropolitan region in the United States. Anchored by Philadelphia but encompassing other major cities, including Camden, NJ and Wilmington, DE, the area is home to a population of about six million people. Counties within the region include Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Bucks counties in Pennsylvania; Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester counties in New Jersey; Cecil County in Maryland; and Kent and Newcastle counties in Delaware.

In addition to housing a large amount of significant historical sites, the Delaware Valley is the anchor of a bustling economic and educational hub. The presence of major industrial centers in the Delaware Valley combined with institutions of higher education, including the University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, and Temple University, yields a highly mobile populace. Commuting to work across state lines is not uncommon, especially for those in Delaware and Maryland counties of the Valley metro.

Metro area rules
With that in mind, employers must be vigilant in casting a wide net during the pre-employment vetting process. Identifying strong candidates may primarily focus on finding people with the right skills but shielding yourself from liability and protecting your customers are essential. Criminal background checks, which can yield information useful in making the right hiring decision, are the best first step toward a thorough examination. Given that the Delaware Valley metro encompasses four states, developing an awareness of each state’s restrictions on background checks is essential.

“Ban the box” rules are in place in all four states inside the Delaware Valley metro. In Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, state law bans the box for public employers; businesses must wait until after the first interview or until they make a conditional employment offer to conduct a background check. Delaware does not place such restrictions on private employers, and neither does Pennsylvania or Maryland--but take note of local laws.

In Montgomery County, Maryland, the box is banned for private employers of 15 or more “full time” staff and all inquiries must wait until after an initial interview. In Philadelphia, employers must wait until they extend a conditional offer to an applicant. Disqualifying a candidate requires a clear link between a conviction and the job role. New Jersey is the only state in the region to maintain a statewide ban the box law for private employers, with inquiries delayed as in other states until after the first interview. Each state may have additional restrictions on the types of records employers may use–consult local laws before making any decisions.

The Delaware Valley’s high student population and the frequency with which residents cross state lines for work creates a complex environment for employers. Developing a background check policy that scans all available records in the area can help employers avoid missing critical information when making a decision. makes it easy to acquire reports from nearly all the counties and states surrounding your business in this region. Some records, including some in Delaware, may be unavailable due to state law. With the ability to quickly check an individual’s background over a broad area, you can proceed with the hiring process with confidence.

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