If the studies show that most people who are in bankruptcy are there because of illness and medical bills, then wouldnâ€™t that be a useful criteria in determining eligibiity for employment? One state rep thinks the answer is no:
State Representative Matt Lesser (D-Durham, Middlefield and Middletown) announced that his bill preventing employers from unfairly using credit checks in the hiring process passed the state House of Representatives by a vote of 109-34.
â€śUsing credit histories for employment decisions is a barrier to economic recovery, said Rep. Lesser. â€śIt prevents good workers, who were laid off from their jobs and fell behind in their bills, from getting back on their feet.â€ť
House Bill 5521, An Act Eliminating Credit Reports as a Basis for Employment Decisions, requires employers to prove that credit checks are necessary for employment. It is currently legal to deny job applicants employment in Connecticut, if they fail a credit check.
Certainly Bernie Madoff would have passed a credit check with no problems, and look how much that was a predictor of employment suitability. Maybe the real problem is that the only criteria an employer should use is one that determines the ability of an applicant to do the job. But then, thatâ€™s a hard thing to do. And so we get forms and all sorts of attempts to figure out by some criteria thatâ€™s easily obtainable because someone is selling that information.
This bill would have no effect on the right of employers to use criminal background checks on employees or prospective employees, which will continue to be permitted. Nor would it prevent credit checks when the credit history of the applicant is substantially job related, when it is otherwise required by law or when an employer has specific reason to believe an employee may have violated the law.