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Tech & Work

EEOC looks at the practice of using credit rating checks on job applicants

The EEOC is concerned with employers who use job applicants' credit ratings as a screening tool.

Back in 2006, I wrote a blog about whether an individual's credit rating was indicative of his character. This was in response to the employer practice of running credit checks on job applicants. It ended up being a hotly debated topic among the readers.

Now the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is meeting to discuss their own concerns about using job applicants' credit history as a screening tool.

According to a piece on seacoastonline.com, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit recently held a hearing on a bill that would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prohibit employers, with certain exclusions, from using a consumer report for hiring or firing if the report contains information about creditworthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity.

"You simply cannot tell a person's character, integrity or how well they will perform their job by looking at their credit report," said Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, chairman of the committee. "The fact that someone has a credit report that is not superior to another job candidate does not make them less able to do the work at an office or a factory, nor does it make them more or less likely to steal from their employer."

And if you consider that with the current economy (and its subsequent home foreclosures, et al), a lot more people will be saddled with a bad credit rating. Seems like the pickin's will be slim for corporations if they use credit checks as a job screen.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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