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The Progressive Victory You Haven't Heard Of: NYC's Ban on Employment Credit Checks

Amy Traub
The American Prospect

In New York, your personal credit history is no longer any of your employer’s business.

From universal pre-kindergarten to paid sick days, New York City’s fight against inequality has grabbed national headlines. But recently, the nation’s largest city has quietly taken the lead in dismantling a far less obvious barrier to opportunity: the employment credit check. Thanks to a new law, businesses can no longer discriminate against employees and job seekers simply because they’re late paying bills.

The credit check ban is an important salvo against inequality. More often than not, poor credit is the result of bad luck and societal disadvantages, and is associated with unemployment, lack of health care, and medical debt. As a result of credit checks, someone who is out of work will find it more difficult to get another job, falling further behind on their bills in a vicious catch-22.