Press release

Demos Applauds New Legislation to Eliminate Employment Credit Checks in New York City

Demos and coalition partners have reached an agreement with the City Council and de Blasio administration to send a bill banning the use of employment credit checks to the City Council floor. In response, President Heather McGhee issued the following statement: 

“We are pleased to see progress made in the fight for equal opportunity employment in New York City. Employment credit checks are a catch-22, preventing qualified workers from getting a job just when they really need one most. The biggest drivers of credit problems are job loss and medical emergencies. 

"The City Council will receive a robust bill that will eliminate unnecessary red tape for many positions where a credit check is an arbitrary obstacle to employment, such as frontline retail and restaurant positions. By removing this barrier to some of the largest employment sectors, Councilman Lander has put forth the strongest bill in the country and we are eager to see Mayor de Blasio sign it into law.

"At Demos, we have been long-time advocates of eliminating credit checks from the hiring process. Our initial research unveiled the problems in credit reporting agencies, and we produced first of its kind research that shows there is no correlation between weak credit and job performance. Additionally, we know that credit checks are a racially discriminatory practice that often screen out qualified candidates of color who have been subjected to a persistent legacy of discriminatory lending, hiring, and housing policies.

"While our research has shown that credit checks are unwarranted in all hiring practices, we are pleased that the exemptions included in this bill will continue to be up for debate and will be reviewed in the future.”