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March 19, 2010

State and Feds Move to Ban Credit Checks of Job Applicants

Filed under: General HR Buzz9:07 am

The slow economy has already led a bunch of states to look at banning employers from using credit checks to screen applicants. Now, the federal government is considering a ban, too.

Legislators’ reasoning goes like this: If someone’s out of work and consequently piling up debts, how is that person supposed to climb out of a hole when those very same debts make the person unemployable?

Following that reasoning, Congress is looking at a bill that would ban the use of credit checks as a hiring tool.

Already, 16 states have proposed such bills or have some sort of ban in place.

States looking at legislation: Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin.

States that have legislation in place: Hawaii and Washington; Oregon has passed legislation that will take effect July 1, 2010.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN, has introduced a similar legislation in Congress.

Note: Just about any existing or proposed legislation doesn’t ban credit checks for jobs in financial fields or where potential employees might have access to company funds or financial records.

Source: HR Morning Jim Giuliano

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