Demos Senior Policy Analyst Amy Traub issued the following statement about the New York City credit checks bill that goes into effect today:
"Today, New York City will enact the nation’s strongest ban on employment credit checks. Demos applauds the Council and the Mayor—and all our coalition partners who worked hard over the years to make this victory possible. This bill will protect more workers than any previous one and virtually eliminates this illegitimate and discriminatory barrier to employment.
"Across the country, qualified workers are shut out of jobs when employers check their personal credit history and uncover difficulties paying bills. People whose credit was damaged as a result of factors like medical debt, unemployment, or predatory lending find themselves caught in a vicious cycle: they cannot get jobs because of damaged credit, and are unable to repay debts and improve their credit because they can’t get a job.
"Further, Demos has long called out employment credit checks for what they really are: racially discriminatory barriers to opportunity. Our nation’s history of discrimination—in lending, housing, and employment itself—has contributed to an enduring racial wealth gap, which has particularly impacted the credit histories of people of color.
"NYC is setting a great example for the country by ending this harmful, unjust, and often inaccurate practice. Other states and cities around the country should follow New York’s progressive lead and end the practice today."