Across the country, many states and localities have enacted ban-the-box legislation. In a nutshell, ban the box means that employers cannot inquire about an applicant's criminal history until after the first job interview.
For example, Philadelphia has ban the box. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not.
Still, Pennsylvania does have the Criminal History Record Information Act. But, indeed, a Pennsylvania federal court ruled on Wednesday that the Act and ban the box are two separate things:
CHRIA does not preclude an employer from revoking a conditional offer of employment based on a good faith belief than an applicant intentionally withheld material information on his employment application in violation of the employer's policies.
Just be sure that, if you are asking about criminal history on a job application, you don't operate in a ban-the-box town or city. And, even if you don't, remember that under the Act precludes employers from basing employment decisions on misdemeanors and summary convictions that do not render an applicant unsuitable for employment. And basing an employment decision on a mere arrest...fuggedaboudit.
Like my arrest for male prostitution doesn't make me unfit to be a lawyer.
(If only my blogging platform had a double strikethrough).