We are bringing this class action suit on behalf of Frank Long, a 55-year-old resident of Philadelphia and a commercially licensed bus driver. SEPTA offered him a job in October 2014 as a bus operator, but then rescinded the offer because of a drug-related conviction on Mr. Long’s record from 1997. SEPTA did so in spite of the fact that Mr. Long has stayed on the right side of the law ever since his conviction nearly 20 years ago.
The Disability Employment Discrimination Project’s mission is to enforce disability rights and to help individuals with disabilities access and remain in the work force. The project provides limited legal representation, legal advice and know-your-rights education to low-income people with disabilities, as well as education and outreach to employers.
In Pennsylvania, minorities, particularly men, are frequently turned away from jobs due to disproportionate criminal history rates and employers’ increased screening of those histories in the application and hiring processes. The widespread use of criminal background checks creates a nearly insurmountable barrier for large numbers of minority men in obtaining the employment they need to lead stable and sustainable lives and contribute to their families and communities.