New York City has adopted a law barring most employers from checking a job candidate’s credit reports. The law makes it illegal to request or use a job applicant’s credit history in making a hiring decision in almost all cases.
“Just because you’ve struggled with credit cards, medical bills or student loans does not make you any less hard working, qualified or trustworthy than anyone else…,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mar-Viverito in a statement after the law was approved by a margin of 47-3 by the New York City Council.
The law includes about a dozen exemptions such as job applicants for police officers, workers required to obtain security clearances under state or federal law, and positions where employees will have signatory authority over assets worth $10,000 or more.
Aside from the exemptions, this new law will affect all other employers. Harvard University has done a study showing that employer anti-credit check laws are effective at increasing employment among job applicants with damaged credit reports. The biggest increases in successful job applications were found in government jobs, and jobs in transportation and in-home services.
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