The EEOC has cited national convention marketing firm Freeman Companies with discriminatory hiring practices based on the company’s use of applicants’ credit scores and criminal background checks in hiring.

Freeman’s national sales office is in Chicago, and the company supports hundreds of conventions and meetings each year in the Chicagoland area.

The EEOC alleges the company’s hiring practices have a disparate impact on minorities and women. According to the complaint, the credit and criminal background checks are neither job related nor of business necessity. The EEOC alleges they screen out otherwise qualified candidates.

Note: These days, employers that rely on credit scores may be on even thinner ice. Tha's because reasons other than a bad payment history may cause low credit scores. In fact, a large part of someone's credit score is based on percentage of credit card usage—the amount charged compared to the credit limit. Several credit card companies have recently cut customers' credit lines. That raises cardholders' percentage of credit usage—and lowers credit scores even though all payments have been made on time.

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