States May Ban Credit Checks For Job Applicants

Doing credit checks for jobs that don't give applicants access to money is not only a stupid thing, it's de facto discrimination based on class. The people who crashed the economy still have great credit records, while the people whose lives were ruined are the ones to bear yet another burden as a result. People shouldn't have to wait for state legislation - this should be a national law that flat out forbids the practice:

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – It's hard enough to find a job in this economy, and now some people are facing another hurdle: Potential employers are holding their credit histories against them.

Sixty percent of employers recently surveyed by the Society for Human Resources Management said they run credit checks on at least some job applicants, compared with 42 percent in a somewhat similar survey in 2006.

Employers say such checks give them valuable information about an applicant's honesty and sense of responsibility. But lawmakers in at least 16 states from South Carolina to Oregon have proposed outlawing most credit checks, saying the practice traps people in debt because their past financial problems prevent them from finding work.

[...] "If somebody is trying to get a job as a truck driver or a trainer in a gym, what does your credit history have to do with your ability to do that job?" Hixson said. He said he knows of no research that shows a person with a bad credit history is going to perform poorly.

Under federal law, prospective employers must get written permission from applicants to run a credit check on them. But consumer advocates say most job applicants do not feel they are in a position to say no.

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.