Civil Rights, Labor Advocates Demand End To Employment Credit Checks

A coalition of 25 civil rights and labor advocacy groups petitioned one of the nation’s largest credit-monitoring firms, TransUnion, to quit selling consumer credit information to employers. Roughly 60% of companies factor credit information into hiring decisions, according to a 2010 survey by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). TransUnion is also being targeted by California Gov. Jerry Brown’s new bill, which bans most businesses in the state from using credit checks to screen potential workers, making California the seventh state to restrict the practice. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) agrees with the coalition’s stance stating, “The EEOC is concerned that not hiring people with poor credit may exclude qualified job seekers and some minority groups, and therefore may be discriminatory under civil rights law,” said EEOC spokeswoman Christine Nazer. “Employers need to show that the use of credit records is job-related and consistent with business necessity,” she said.

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