Saturday, August 14, 2010

Illinois Becomes Latest State to Protect Credit History in Hiring

Illinois has become the fourth state, joining Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington, to enact legislation prohibiting employers from discriminating based on a job seeker or employee’s credit history. Given the recent economic woes many Americans have faced over the last several years during this "Great Recession," many states and even the EEOC have deemed it necessary to step in and prevent a new trend in employment discrimination. From the press release on the new IL legislation, 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.


  1. I thought that 'the powers that be' were running out of "-isms", how unimaginative I was.

    All this means is that there is less reason to hire people, the 'price' in terms of risk of hiring will rise, and the number of people hired will fall, ceteris paribus. Result, lawyers (like my counterparts) gain, the potentially productive lose. But, the unseen costs are rarely counted. One more step back to the Stone Age.

  2. As shown above the barriers to use of a credit report are so minimal this law is really for show and not for go.