PHILADELPHIA: A nurse has claimed in court that she was fired by a national medical services provider (Prisons) due to a background check flagging up an expunged record some 30 years ago. She only briefly faced these charges as a juvenile. The plaintiff has filed on July 8th in Philadelphia (Common Please). Corizon were recommended to dismiss the female due to the background check showing the arrest record from thirty years ago.

The record that the background check revealed was expunged in 2010. The charges were dismissed a year following filing. She was hired in June 2014 by Corizon subject to a positive outcome of a background check, she had worked for the previous contractor (Prison Health Services), in the capacity of registered nurse between 1998 and 2004. The plaintiff also puts forward that she had performed her duties satisfactorily without incident.

As a result of the background check in 2014 Philadelphia was alleged to have denied her with the necessary clearance to be employed within a prison. The plaintiff also states The Pennsylvania State Police responsible for the background check displayed no records of convictions or arrests related to her. Her lawsuit runs to 9 pages and has accused Corizon Health of discrimination and constitutional violations, she claimed that to bar employees determined by criminal records confers “a disparate impact based on race.”

The plaintiff also cites that studies confirm that a criminal record background check affects black applicants especially. Arrest numbers are disproportionate to their representation in the population in general. Statistics confirm that those without a criminal history for 7 years have very low recidivism rates. The legal action goes on that individuals typical of this 7 year period are no different to an individual without a criminal history.

In respect of violations by Corizon the plaintiff is seeking punitive damages. The violations refer to The Pennsylvania Criminal Record History Information Act and the Pennsylvania Constitution. State law was violated in that Philadelphia “aided and abetted” the unlawful termination by Corizon. The unlawful termination and recommendation she be relieved of her duties denied her clearance and employment.

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