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Can we require credit reports for applicants?

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in Employment Background Check,Human Resources

Q. Is it legal to institute a policy requiring all new hires to submit to a consumer credit report?

A. It depends. On Oct. 10, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB 22, which prohibits certain employers from obtaining consumer credit reports for employment purposes. The new law prohibits employers from obtaining a report unless the job involves:

  • Working for the state Department of Justice
  • Managerial work
  • Work as a sworn law enforcement officer
  • Work for which the information contained in the report is required by law to be disclosed or obtained
  • Regular access to specified personal information for any purpose other than the routine solicitation and processing of credit card applications in a retail establishment
  • Work in which the person is or would be a named signatory on the employer’s bank or credit card account, or authorized to transfer money or enter into financial contracts on the employer’s behalf
  • Access to confidential or proprietary information
  • Regular access to $10,000 or more of cash.

The new law, which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2012, requires written notice informing the person for whom a consumer credit report is sought for employment purposes about the specific reason for obtaining the report.

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