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Credit Checks: The Next Wave of Hiring Discrimination Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law ©Copyright 2010 Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Most employers run credit checks on applicants. 60% of employers run credit checks 40% of employers do not consider credit history ©Copyright 2010 Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Persons of color are significantly more likely to have poor credit histories. ©Copyright 2010 Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Many people have poor credit through no fault of their own. Loss of a job or reduced pay in a bad economy Medical illness without healthcare coverage Divorce ©Copyright 2010 Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Credit History Does Not Predict Job Performance. Employers and credit reporting agencies have failed to offer proof that credit history actually predicts success on the job. Independent studies have shown that credit history does not predict success on the job. ©Copyright 2010 Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Legal Protections Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: If a credit check screens out a proportionally greater number of minorities, the employer must have a business need to rely on a credit screen, and the employer must explore less discriminatory alternatives. ©Copyright 2010 Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Legal Protections The Fair Credit Reporting Act: Employers must obtain written authorization to access a consumer report. Before and after taking adverse action on the basis of information in a consumer report, employers must provide written notification. Employers must inform individuals of their rights under the FCRA, including the right to obtain a free copy of the consumer report and the right to dispute inaccurate information. ©Copyright 2010 Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Legal Protections State laws: Hawaii, Washington, and Oregon prohibit employers from running credit checks for most jobs. A similar bill may be signed into law in Illinois shortly. Many other states have considered similar bans. ©Copyright 2010 Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Legal Protections Washington State Law: … [A] person may not procure a consumer report for employment purposes where any information contained in the report bears on the consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity, unless the information is substantially job related and the employer's reasons for the use of such information are disclosed to the consumer in writing … ©Copyright 2010 Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Litigation to Challenge Unlawful Background Checks The Lawyers Committee is developing a litigation strategy to challenge employers misuse of credit history information. In 2010, the Lawyers Committee filed two cases challenging background checks into criminal records: Arroyo v. Accenture Challenging a private employers blanket policy against hiring individuals with criminal records Johnson v. Locke Challenging the U.S. Censuss arbitrary process of screening applicants with arrest and conviction records ©Copyright 2010 Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
If you have been turned away from a job because of your credit history, contact the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (888) ©Copyright 2010 Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
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