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Appeals Court Reinstates Criminal Background Checks for School Construction Workers

​A Pennsylvania court order that stopped school districts outside Pittsburgh from conducting background checks of all applicants and employees on school roofing projects while the legality of the checks could be decided has been overturned by a Pennsylvania appellate court.

A union representing Pennsylvania roofing workers, the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers, filed a lawsuit in the Allegheny County, Pa., Court of Common Pleas to prevent county school districts from running background checks on members before using them on school projects. The union challenged the school districts' application and enforcement of the Pennsylvania Public School Code of 1949, which was amended in 2007. The school code requires school districts to run criminal background checks on all current and prospective employees of public and private schools, intermediate units, and area vocational technical schools, including teachers, substitutes, janitors, cafeteria workers, independent contractors and their employees, except those who have no direct contact with children. FULL ARTICLE