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19 February 2010

New Bill Would Prohibit Employers From Getting Job Applicants' Credit Reports

As of 2009, 35% of employers pull the credit reports of potential employees before making a hiring decision [Burt, Erin (2009-3-10). 5 people who check your credit. Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine. Retrieved on 2010-2-19.]. However, if a veteran lawmaker has her way, it will be a crime for a job applicant's credit history to be used as a factor to determine employment eligibility.

State Sen. Donzella James (D - College Park) dropped a bill Thursday that would prohibit employers from requesting credit reports on employees except under certain conditions.

Senate Bill 433 makes it a misdemeanor for any person or corporation to "require an employee or prospective employee to consent to a request for a credit report that contains information about the employee's or prospective employee's credit score, credit account balances, payment history, savings or checking account balances, or savings or checking account numbers as a condition of employment." The legislation imposes a maximum fine of $400 for employers convicted under the statute.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says that seventeen states have either passed or introduced legislation that restricts employers from pulling the credit report of prospective employees.

S.B.433 currently sits in the Senate Insurance and Labor Committee.