Tuesday, February 16, 2010

H.R. 3149: Equal Employment for All Act

Representative Steve Cohen has introduced this bill which would make it illegal for companies to run a credit check on a candidate for employment or promotion.

Right now this is a common practice.  There is a little merit in this practice.  The thinking is that it is kind of like a pre-crime criminal background check--someone with a very bad credit rating might be more likely to steal from the company.  I don't think that the connection has ever been proven.  But maybe I can see the connection--or at least the line of reasoning.  A few years ago when I was a hiring manager and the economy was pretty strong, this seemed like a good idea to me.

Now I'm a prospective employee and the economy is terrible.  My credit rating is still excellent.  But it won't be for much longer.  It's not my fault that the economy is terrible.  But I'm about to get shut out of the job market.

I'm working on a project to help people find better jobs faster.  But lots of them have been laid off for a while and their credit rating has taken a hit.  This is about to become a self-fulfilling prophecy and make it impossible for the job market to pick back up because all of the prospective employees fail the credit rating screening.

This bill would be a great benefit to unemployed people.  It would add some risk back to companies.  But I think that the benefits far outweigh the costs.

The bill is stuck in the House Financial Services committee.  It's been there for months.  Click through here to see the members of this committee.  Then if your representative is on that committee contact him/her and express your desire to see this bill get out of committee and passed into law.  I would suggest a simple letter like this:
H.R.3149, the Equal Employment for All Act,  is currently before the House Financial Services, of which you are a member.  This bill would significantly help a large number of Americans who are already having a very hard time through little or no fault of their own.  It might also benefit some fools or even a few crooks.  But the good that it would do for very many people far outweighs any negative side effects.  Please take action to get this bill to out of committee and on to the House floor for a vote.
The site above has links to maps so you can figure out who your representative is, if you don't know.  There are 5 Texas representatives on the committee, but mine is not.

Update on 3/2/10: It is being reported that some states are taking up the idea of banning credit checks for job seekers.  I'm not really optimistic of this happening, but it would help.

1 comment:

  1. 70+ Million Americans Suffered “Bad Credit” (Previous to July ’09) long before the full economic collapse – that’s more than 1/3 of the entire population between 20 and 75 years old

    379,000 Bankruptcies Filed Q1, 2010, (17 percent increase over Q1, 2009 during a year in a year which they soared upward by 32%)

    35% Increase in Foreclosures and a 16% Increase in Foreclosure Notices Q1, 2010 (over Q1, 2009) and 1 in every 4 Homes in America are at least 10+ % “underwater.”

    In survey after survey, including a recent MSNBC survey, more than 90 percent of Americans say that workplace discrimination based upon someone’s personal credit report is wrong and should be illegal. ZERO statistical evidence exists to tie bad credit reports to fraud! It’s already illegal in 3 states and HR3149: The Equal Employment for All Act would make it illegal in every state, but most Americans don’t even know the legislation exists. Please support the overwhelming will of the people and the rights of highly qualified American workers to compete on a level playing field during this horrible economic disaster. Join our FB PAG at: http://groups.to/h.r.3149 or shoot us an e-mail at hr3149@hotmail.com with”sign me up” in the subject line.