The use of credit reports in an employment screening process has been in the news lately. In a time in which many people may have been late on a credit payment or accumulated credit card debt due to a layoff or work stoppage, there is a growing concern that companies will utilize the information found in a credit report unfairly against an applicant. Many states have taken steps to restrict the use of credit reports for employment purposes.
Washington, Illinois, Maryland, Hawaii and Oregon have already put restrictions on the use of credit reports. Most recently, a bill has been put forth in Ohio that would restrict companies in their use of credit reports as well. For companies that violate the restrictions covered by this bill, they would be in violation of the law and subject to a first degree misdemeanor.
As more and more states consider putting forth legislation like this, companies should consult with an attorney and review laws in their state to ensure compliance when conducting a pre-employment background check. It is also important to utilize a background check company like PeopleG2 that stays up to date on the latest laws surrounding credit reports.