National Disability Institute joins a growing number of like-minded organizations, stakeholders and policymakers urging passage of the Equal Employment for All Act (H.R. 645, S.1837), which would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prohibit the use of credit checks as a condition for employment. The bill currently has 34 House cosponsor and 9 Senate cosponsors.
Introduced by Representative Steve Cohen (TN-9) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA), the bill seeks to keep credit information confidential – thereby reducing employment barriers for individuals with disabilities. Federal law allows prospective and current employers to access and use credit information, including medical debt and student loans, for employment purposes. A 2012 survey by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) found that 47 percent of all employers reported using credit history when making hiring decisions. The think tank Demos reported as a result of a survey they conducted last year that one in 10 unemployed Americans have been denied a job due to information in their credit reports.
People with poor credit history or limited credit history including individuals with disabilities have been adversely impacted by medical debt, student loans, predatory lending practices and identify theft. Considering no correlation has been proven between an individual’s credit report and their job performance or their likelihood to commit fraud, the proposed bills would remove an unnecessary barrier to employment for over a million individuals with and without disabilities who want to work.
Join the groundswell of people seeking an end to invasive and unnecessary pre-employment credit screenings by contacting your Representative and Senators and asking them to cosponsor the Equal Employment for All Act. To find your local federal official and their contact information, please visit opencongress.org.
For more information on the Equal Employment for All Act, and its potential impact on workplace hiring procedures, view a recent article on the bill at CNN Money.