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School Districts Can Require Criminal Background Checks For Individuals Working On School Property E


Factual Background:

In the summer of 2015, Pennsylvania Roofing Company successfully bid on a roofing project for the Fox Chapel Area School District. The project manual required each Pennsylvania Roofing employee to obtain criminal background checks as mandated by Section 111 of the School Code and Section 6344 of the Child Protective Services Law (“CPSL”). Eight Union members were denied clearance to work as a result of the background checks.

At about the same time, North Allegheny School District retained Massaro Construction Management Services to serve as construction manager for a roofing project at three project sites. Similarly, the general conditions agreed to by Massaro and North Allegheny required all workers to obtain criminal background checks in accordance with Section 111 of the School Code and Section 6344 of the CPSL. Six Union members were denied clearance to work on the North Allegheny roofing projects as a result of the background checks.

The Union subsequently filed a complaint against the School Districts seeking a declaration that: (1) the Union’s members were exempt from the requirements of Section 111 of the School Code and Section 6344 of the CPSL; (2) the Criminal History Record Information Act (“CHRIA”) prohibits the School Districts from refusing to employ Union members based on criminal background checks; and (3) the School Districts’ exclusion of Union members was a violation of due process. FULL ARTICLE