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Lawmakers Take Aim at Credit Reports

The Salem News

More bosses are weighing the credit worthiness of job candidates before making a hire — a practice that some lawmakers say unfairly keeps people with bad credit from landing a job.

On Thursday, the Senate takes up a proposal to restrict employers in most cases from using financial information such as credit scores to decide whom to hire, promote or fire. [...]

At least 11 states have passed laws limiting the use of employment credit checks — including Connecticut, Vermont and California, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several more are considering similar bills.

Congress is also considering a bill prohibiting employers from requiring workers to disclose their credit history.

A 2013 study by Demos, a New York-based liberal think-tank, found that about one-third of employers use credit checks to screen applicants. The study found 1 in 10 job-seekers has been denied work because of credit reports.

“Despite their prevalence, little is known about what credit checks actually reveal to employers, what the consequences are for job applicants, or employment credit checks’ overall impact on our society,” the study's authors wrote.