Some lawmakers and advocacy groups want the city council to pass a bill that bans the credit checks.
Some lawmakers and advocacy groups in New York City want to level the playing field in the job market.
They're urging the city council to pass a bill that would ban businesses from reviewing credit scores in the hiring process. Council Members Brad Lander and James Sanders, Jr, introduced the legislation, called the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act. Council Member Lander says bad credit can happen to anyone.
“At a time of continued economic hardship, employers should not deny people jobs based on their credit history,” he said. “Many New Yorkers have poor credit through little or no fault of their own."
Andy Morrison is spokesman for the New York Public Interest Research Group. He says people who need work the most can't get jobs because of credit checks.
"The people who've been laid off [and] the people who've had medical expenses, they fall behind on a bill here or two as a result," he said. "They can be denied employment. The very employment that would help them get out of debt."
According to the Society of Human Resource Management, about 60% of businesses use credit checks in the hiring process.
Morrison says it doesn't make sense to judge an applicant based on his or her credit score.
"There's no research to suggest that there's any correlation between your credit score, your credit history, and your ability to perform well at work," he said.
A study by Louisiana State University researchers found no connection between poor credit scores and bad behavior on the job.