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Should Credit Scores be a Part of the Decision to Hire

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2014 | Consumer Protection

In a recent post I discussed myths
relating to your credit score
and touched upon the much heated
topic of whether or not employers should be able to review your
credit score
or even your report.  Currently, existing or
potential employers are allowed to
access your credit file with your express written
consent.   However, the credit report an employer
receives is a scaled down version and is not to include your credit

As it stands many job applicants argue that the information on
your report should not be accessible to employers and should not
stand in the way of whether or not you are hired for a job.
Imagine for a moment that you have been out of work and unable to
pay your bills.  You finally land an interview and are great
in the meet and greet but feel doom when the employer asks to
access your credit file.  Your report is riddled with late
payments and collection accounts for bills you were unable to pay
during your period of unemployment and a as a result you know you
will not be hired….. a vicious cycle, hard to pay your bills when
you are unemployed and hard to get a job when you are judged for
not paying your bills.  On the contrary, proponents of
employment background checks argue that information contained in
your credit report is necessary for many jobs, including government
positions, positions in the world of finance, child care,
etc.  Your
credit report
may include necessary information about you that
you were not willing to share during the interview process.

Currently, before Congress is a bill titled the “Equal Employment
for All Act” tackling this issue head on for consumers
nationwide.  This bill proposes to change the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (“FCRA”)
to prohibit employers from checking your
credit in relation to a job application or during continued
employment.  Refusing to allow employers to check an
applicant’s credit history will prevent employers from
discriminating against existing or potential employees with a less
than stellar report.  Proponents of the bill argue that
eliminating an employer’s right to review an applicant’s credit
history levels the playing field and allows an employee to earn the
job based on his or her merit and not on his or her credit
history.  There is no existing proof that a consumer’s credit
history or credit score has any direct correlation to his or her
ability to successfully perform during employment

If you would like more information regarding the “Equal
Employment for All Act” or would like to discuss your report with a
licensed attorney contact SmithMarco P.C. for a free case review.