41 NYC Council members want to end this pre-employment practice

bill to ban credit checks during pre-employment background screening, unless credit checks are required by federal or state law. Council member Brad Lander sponsored the bill — called the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act — which argues that credit checks are more likely to screen out black and Hispanic applicants, even though there is little indication that a credit report can predict a person’s likelihood to commit financial crimes. The Council says credit checks should be eliminated in order to give all candidates a fair chance, including minority populations and recent college graduates, who may have taken on debt and haven’t had an opportunity to make good, real-world credit decisions. While some jobs do require credit checks by law — including some jobs in the financial sector — the Council also wants to make sure that there are not widespread exemptions added to the bill, which would negate the good the Council is attempting. Some states have included exemptions in similar legislation for employers in the insurance industry or law enforcement, as well as for those who have access to company credit cards or expense accounts. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office has indicated support of the bill, while also stating that there may be instances in which exemptions should be made. A similar bill was floated in 2013, but did not pass New York’s City Council.]]>

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