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​Act 168 – Frequently Asked Questions

Act 168 – Frequently Asked Questions regarding the employment history review for all new employees having direct contact with children and the additional pre-employment requirements for educators.

Employment History Review

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​What entities are required under Act 168 to conduct employment history reviews?

​Which employees must have an employment history review?

​What does “direct contact with children” mean?

​Do I have to conduct an employment history review for every applicant or just the applicant(s) I want to hire?

​Are individuals who work as volunteers in a school entity required to undergo an employment history review?

​Are student teachers required to undergo an employment history review?

​What information must be included in the employment history review?

​What is “abuse”?

​What is “sexual misconduct”?

​Are applicants and employers required to disclose information related to allegations determined to be false?

​What are acceptable ways of collecting the information required under Act 168?

Do I have to send the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Sexual Misconduct/Abuse Disclosure Release form to every person/entity for whom the applicant ever worked?​

​Does the employment history review have to include current employers that are not school entities and where the applicant did not have direct contact with children?

​Must the employment history review include out-of-state employers?

​Must the employment history review include volunteer positions that the applicant held?

​Is there a limit on the number of years we have to go back when reviewing the applicant’s work history?

​What if the applicant is not truthful or does not reveal completely the requested information?

​How long do employers have to respond to the initial request for information?

​What if the applicant and/or current or past employer answers “yes” to any of the abuse and sexual misconduct background questions?

​If the applicant is still under consideration for employment with the hiring entity, what type of additional information must the current/former employer provide?

​Is the information and documentation received as part of the employment history review considered public information?

​What if a current and/or former employer does not respond to the initial request for information or a request for additional information? Can I still hire the applicant?

​What if the former employer responds that they no longer have any information regarding the applicant?

​What the former employer is out of business with no person to contact regarding the pre-employment history review?

​What is the provisional hiring period?

​If an applicant completes the employment history review for a school entity and then transfers to another school entity in the same district, diocese or religious judicatory, or to another school within the same organization, does the applicant have to undergo the same review again?

​What are Act 168 requirements related to substitute employees?

​What are the responsibilities of independent contractors conducting employment history reviews?

​Can a third party entity conduct the Act 168 reviews as a service to hiring entities?

​If an employer or third party wants to charge me to provide a response to Act 168 form(s), must we pay for the form(s) to be completed?

​What are my reporting responsibilities if an applicant or an employer answers “yes” to any of the abuse and sexual misconduct background questions?

​Does Act 168 offer me any protection for providing information or records about a current or former employee?

​What if we are asked to provide information about a former employee and (1) prior to the effective date of Act 168 (December 22, 2014) we entered into a separation agreement with the former employee that contained a confidentiality clause and/or (2) the union contract has restrictive language concerning what information can be shared regarding the former employee?

​What impact does Act 168 have on collective bargaining agreements, separation agreements and other similar contracts or agreements entered into after December 22, 2014?

​Does Act 168 contain any other requirements for applicants who are educators?

​Pre-Employment Requirements (For Educators Only)

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​What does “pending criminal charges” mean?

​How can we find out whether an applicant who holds a private or public school certificate or who has a PPID has pending criminal charges?

​Does the Department of Education receive notification of pending criminal charges for individuals who do not hold a private or public school certificate or a PPID number?

​Can I hire an applicant who has pending criminal charges?

​If TIMS reflects that an applicant has pending criminal charges, how do I find out further information about the charges?