Bill Seeks To Ban Employee Credit Checks in NYC

by Kelsey Schappell
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wajakemek, flickr

A coalition of New Yorkers present arguments against employee credit checks to City Council.

The New York City Council is considering a bill that will put an end to credit checks when applying for a job.

The bill, known as the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act, would prevent employers from denying a person a job if he or she has racked up credit card, medical, or student loan debt.

The Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project is one of over 60 organizations pushing for the bill. Program associate Joby Thoyalil said credit checks are an invasion of privacy.

"People don't want to exaplain certian things, certian life-tramatic events that have caused financial calamity."

Thoyalil also said there's no research that links credit history to job performance,and credit checks are a form of job discrimination.

"A saying that's going around is that this is called a credit Catch 22, because you need a job to clean up your debt, but you can't get a job because you have debt," he noted, adding a chuckle at the end.

Opponents of the bill say credit checks are an important part of evaluating potential employees, and are necessary to get a better understanding of applicants. 

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