Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gov Quinn Signs New Law Prohibiting Credit Checks on Job Applicants

CHICAGO – August 10, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that prohibits Illinois employers from discriminating based on a job seeker or employee’s credit history. The new law will remove a significant barrier to employment for the growing segment of the population whose credit history has been affected by the historic national recession.

“A job seeker’s ability to earn a decent living should not depend on how well they are weathering the greatest economic recession since the 1930s,” said Governor Quinn. “This law will stop employers from denying a job or promotion based on information that is not an indicator of a person’s character or ability to do a job well.”

House Bill 4658, sponsored by Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) and Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), creates the Employee Credit Privacy Act. Under the act, Illinois’ employers may not use a person’s credit history to determine employment, recruiting, discharge or compensation.

The new law forbids employers from inquiring about an applicant or employee’s credit history or obtaining a copy of their credit report. The law does not affect an employer’s ability to conduct a thorough background investigation that does not contain a credit history or report.

Employers who violate the new law can be subject to civil liability for damages or injunctive relief.

Under the new law, employers may access credit checks under limited circumstances, including positions that involve: bonding or security per state or federal law; unsupervised access to more than $2,500; signatory power over businesses assets of more than $100; management and control of the business; access to personal, financial or confidential information, trade secrets, or state or national security information.

Pre-employment credit screenings are on the rise throughout the nation. The Society for Human Resources Management recently found that 60 percent of employers run a credit check on at least some applicants. That is an increase from the 42 percent in 2006 and 25 percent in 1998.

The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2011.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Could there be any legislation more worthless that stipulates the above and calls it protection for workers? This is a mockery and a really back joke upon the people of Illinois, the home of TransUnion BTW. Under the exceptions above, can anyone name even one single job that pays a dime above minimum wage that wouldn’t be excluded from employment credit check discrimination? Being able to pass this piece of garbage off as legislation and a law that protects anyone hurts our cause far more than it helps it. Now the uninformed people of IL think they have protection because the won’t read the fine print and other states will try to follow suit by passing similar worthless legislation just to gets votes from and ignorant uninformed population. Someone with bad credit has committed no crime. This legislation treats the vast majority of people as criminals just like no law at all does. For anyone that thinks this law is better than nothing, think again! This is worse than nothing because now the credit bureaus have taken one state out of the fight with garbage legislation which was exactly what they intended to with their behind the scenes lobbying in IL that we’re privy to. They scammed the IL legislature into passing this worthless piece of BS in order to keep the money flowing from IL via the sale of employment credit checks. The state of IL got suckered and played for fools!