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Pass the Trash Act Aims to Protect Children in Schools

Posted On: July 7, 2015 by Marc Neff

The new “Pass the Trash” act went into effect on December 21, 2014. This new act greatly increased the steps involved in hiring those who might be deemed to have “direct contact with children”. Those most impacted by this Act are schools and contractors for schools who have “direct contact with children”. Direct contact with children can be defined as “the possibility of care, supervision, guidance or control of children or routine interaction with children”. This new Act does not impact current school employees and those independent contractors already working both at a school and having direct contact with children.

Under the new Act, before any individuals may be hired or assigned to a position involving “direct contact with children”, a new process must be followed. The prospective employee must fill out forms that include the following information: (1) list current and prior employers that were schools or otherwise involved direct access to children, (2) give consent and authorization for above employers to give information, and a waiver of any claim for complying, and (3) indicate if he or she has ever been investigated or disciplined up to and including termination or permitted to resign or had a licenses/certificate impacted due to any allegations of abuse or while such allegations were pending.

The school or contractor must then: (1) contact each prior employer by sending out that form and confirm the information provided by the applicant/employee, (2) check license or certificate statutes or any other requirements both of eligibility and to see if ever professionally disciplined, and (3) determine if Pennsylvania Department of Education has received notice of any pending criminal charges against the individual.

Once the past employer receives the forms, they have 20 days to return the completed form. The school/contractor may choose to not hire the individual based on the responses. If the school/contractor wishes to consider the individual, the school/contractor may send out a follow up request. Once the forms are sent out, the current or past employer must comply and respond within 60 days of receipt.  Any information obtained may also be sent to other appropriate agencies such as the police, PDE, child protective services, etc., who may take independent action.


All persons charged with crimes are entitled to the protections afforded by the United States Constitution and the rules of evidence in a criminal court of law. An experienced criminal defense attorney helps to ensure that a defendant’s rights are protected before, during and after a trial. If you have been charged with or convicted of a criminal offense, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney immediately. For a confidential consultation, contact the Law Offices of Marc Neff at (215) 563-9800 or via email at

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