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Bill banning credit checks on applicants introduced in Senate

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in Employment Background Check,Human Resources

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has introduced a bill that would prohibit employers from requiring job applicants to disclose their credit histories. Ten states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington—already prohibit the practice, but chances of a nationwide ban appear slim.

A 2012 study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that about half of employers use credit checks to screen applicants, especially for jobs that involve handling money or carrying out fiduciary duties.

Opponents of using credit checks when hiring say it’s an unreliable predictor of employee performance.  

The Equal Employment for All Act is based on H.R. 645, legislation introduced in the House of Representatives in February 2013 by Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee. That bill has languished in committee since then. The nonpartisan website www.govtrack.us recently gave it a 1% chance of being enacted. Warren’s bill likely faces similarly long odds.

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