The Chicago credit reporting and consumer rights lawyers at Markoff Leinberger are following with interest proposed federal legislation that would outlaw the practice of checking a prospective employee’s credit record before extending a job offer.
Not only do some lawmakers consider this employment practice to be an example of an unfair business practice, they simply say it’s discrimination — particularly with regards to people who suffered either job loss or savings depletion as a result of the Great Recession and now need nothing more than to secure quality employment.
The argument was laid out in a recent Time magazine essay co-authored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.). They wrote: “Despite the often-desperate effort to find a job, many employers are unfairly shutting the door on applicants with less-than-stellar credit. We should call this what it is: discrimination.”
The pair has reintroduced the Equal Employment for All Act. If passed, the law would prohibit employers from using credit reports as a stipulation for employment.
One study conducted in 2012 found that 87 percent of employers looking to hire an executive for a financial position use credit history as part of their selection criteria; only a little more than half of employers look at credit when filling any other type of job.
If you’re in Chicago and believe that you’ve been the victim of unfair or discriminatory credit reporting or debt collections, please contact the attorneys at MarkoffLeinberger online or by telephone to schedule your case consultation: 1 (888) 517-9115.