Judge Certifies Class in Class Action Case Against CHHS Hospital Company and Community Health Systems

On June 28, 2024, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas issued an order and opinion granting Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification in a class action lawsuit against the CHHS Hospital Company (“CHHS”) and CHSPSC, LLC (“Community Health Systems”) for its unlawful hiring practices. A case management conference will be held in August to discuss the status of the ongoing litigation.

Pugh v. CHHS Hospital Company et. al.

Shub & Johns LLC, alongside co-counsel, filed a class action lawsuit against CHHS Hospital Company (“CHHS”) and Community Health Systems (“Community”) on August 20, 2020, alleging that, during their ownership and operation of Chestnut Hill Hospital, CHHS and Community had violated job applicant’s rights during the hiring process when they required all applicants to answer questions regarding their criminal history on the initial job application.

Pursuant to the Philadelphia Fair Criminal Records Screen Standards Ordinance (the “Ban the Box Law”), employers may not inquire about a job applicant’s criminal history before extending a conditional offer of employment to the applicant. An applicant is wrongfully harmed under the Ban the Box Law if they have ever been asked about their criminal history during the application process, regardless of whether he or she has ever actually been convicted of a crime. The law also prohibits employers from considering any conviction that occurred more than 7 years before the date of the employment application. Philadelphia’s Ban the Box Law is intended to combat employment discrimination on the basis of past criminal convictions by requiring employers to first evaluate an applicant on his or her own merit. See our previous discussion on Ban the Box laws.

Plaintiff Pugh is representing herself and thousands of other applicants in this litigation. When she applied for employment at Chestnut Hill Hospital in August 2017, the online application unlawfully asked her questions regarding prior convictions. CHHS and Community had allegedly engaged in this unlawful hiring practice at Chestnut Hill Hospital for several years prior to selling the hospital to Tower Health Medical Group in late 2017. Plaintiff Pugh brings this class action lawsuit on behalf of herself and other individuals who applied for a job at Chestnut Hill Hospital and were unlawfully asked about prior convictions during the employment application process.

Class Certification of Former Employee Applicants

On August 3, 2023 Plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification on behalf of herself and thousands of other individuals who were also subject to CHHS’s and Community Health Systems’ unlawful inquiries regarding their criminal history. On June 28, 2024, Judge Abbe F. Fletman issued an order certifying a class defined as:

All persons who were asked a question regarding a criminal conviction during the online application process at Chestnut Hill Hospital from March 14, 2016, through September 30, 2017 (the “Class”).

The Court will hold a case management conference on August 20, 2024, where the Parties will discuss the status of the ongoing litigation.

Help wanted sign hanging outside of an establishment.
CHHS Unlawful Employment Denial Intake Form

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