Pa. court strikes state law barring individuals with certain disqualifying convictions from working with elderly
On Dec. 30, 2015, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania—one of the state’s two intermediate appellate courts—held that the lifetime employment ban on individuals convicted of certain crimes contained in Sec. 503(a)1 of the Older Adults Protective Services Act (“Act”) is unconstitutional and unenforceable, and thus enjoined the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from enforcing the law.
It will now be up to the state legislature to pass a new law that is in line with the Court’s opinion. While the Court invalidated the Act’s lifetime employment ban, it did note that the General Assembly may still enact laws that restrict who may work with older adults, but any such law must be “fine-tuned” to relate the particular criminal conviction to particular employment. The Act’s current blanket prohibition lacks fine-tuning because it treats all the enumerated crimes, regardless of their age or severity, as the same even though they present very different risks of employment.
To read the full court opinion, click here.
Source: Judicial System of Pennsylvania, 12/30/2015
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