New York City has passed legislation restricting the use of credit checks of potential employees by employers (boldface mine):
The law is being heralded nationwide as an example to follow. Federal law allows employment credit checks under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It requires employers to get an applicant’s or employee’s permission before pulling his or her history. But really, if you want the job, how likely are you to refuse such a request?
Still, you have to wonder: How does the fact that you once couldn’t pay your credit card bill correlate to job performance? Or if someone is a poor money manager, does that mean she’s more likely to commit fraud?
We don’t really know the answers to those questions, yet many employers are allowed to screen folks on the assumption that their character is related to their credit history. As I’ve seen in my own work with people, a bad credit record can be the result of a host of problems not linked to irresponsible financial behavior. The think tank Demos and other advocates have found that many people’s credit was brought down by periods of unemployment or medical debt. Some were the victims of predatory lending practices.
Being incredibly cynical, I’m not getting the bidness strategery here. Wouldn’t you want employees who are constantly in debt? They’re a lot less likely to quit if they don’t like the job because they need the money.
There’s a reason the phrase “fuck you money” exists….