Know Your Rights

Should Credit Scores be a Part of the Decision to Hire

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 score. 

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 opportunities. 

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.

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