Credit Score Can’t Be Considered for Employment

Earlier this year, the Chicago City Council passed an amendment to the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance that “prohibited employers from using credit history as a basis for making employment decisions,” according to the City of Chicago’s official website. The ruling came after a slew of complaints and even ads around the city stating that “the unemployed cannot apply,” according to the Chicago Tribune, and was put forward by Ald. Ameya Pawar. Pawar told the Tribune that he proposed the law because people had complained of not getting a job on the basis of credit history or a history of unemployment, and that “every job seeker, regardless of credit history, deserves a fair shake.” Credit Score Can’t Be Considered for Employment

Pawar said that the people most affected by the practice of discrimination based on credit history are “seniors, single-income households, immigrants, refugees and parents re-entering the workforce, and finally veterans.” Business groups opposed an additional provision that would have prevented them from determining employment based on gaps in employment history, and Pawar backed off this provision to the law. Yet officials agreed that banning a review of credit reports when determining employment could amount to discrimination, because, according to the Tribune, “minorities are more likely to have poor credit histories.” Officials also agreed that credit reports are likely to be erroneous.

The amendment actually added “credit history” as an additional protected class, alongside race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, source of income, etc. And while no correlation has been proved between this and the lessening of unemployment in Chicago in 2012, it couldn’t have hurt. Unemployment in December 2012 reached its lowest rate since 2008 nationally, according to CNN Money.

If you or someone you know is seeking legal counsel regarding your business or feel that you’ve been discriminated in your job search, don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced Illinois business attorney today.

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