A lawsuit has been filed by a union over a criminal background check banning 21 roofers from school property in Pennsylvania. While the question remains as to why there appears to be a disproportionate number of workers who have failed the criminal background check and why does a union not prioritize students. The union claims that workers should not be subject to a criminal background check as they do not work or interact directly with children (state Act 153 of 2014). The schools/districts in question come under the control of the Western Pennsylvania school district (North Allegheny, Fox Chapel and Montour).

The lawsuit in question does not expressly specify alleged crimes neither has the attorney representing been forthcoming with any further detail. The union claims that the bar violates workers constitutional rights i.e. preventing employment. The union is looking to an injunction which prohibits a criminal background check on it’s members. Montour and Fox Chapel confirm that they are no more than complying with the requirements of Act 153 for sub contractors and district employees.

There is little comment due to ongoing litigation but the districts are seen as following state law. State law dictates that any sub contractor or employee has to meet minimal certain requirements. One of the requirements is successfully passing a criminal background check. The ongoing construction project currently within Fox Chapel is to the tune of $46 million while $30 million of this is earmarked for the high school. While North Allegheny in the Summer were engaged in 18 projects with 28 contractors.

Montour are unclear as to ongoing projects at the times the lawsuit alleges. The purpose of Act 153 is to protect minors and school children from the criminal fraternity. In response to the criminal background check issues Montour maintain they are prepared to litigate. Some schools will apply their own standards and take on a criminal background check and associated procedures.

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