Credit checks for employment, except for money-handling positions such as payroll or accounts receivable should be banned because the long-term unemployed are being discriminated for employment. Although some employers may say publicly they do not use this check, with the proliferation of unemployed, the smallest indiscretion can be used to discard candidates.
The Internet has an increasing number of stories of people who have been hired and subsequently fired because of and inability to maintain pristine credit histories because of their long-term unemployment. For people such as myself, this credit check is another whammy in my goal to stabilize myself financially. When I agree to credit checks requests on applications and never hear back, I wonder did they find me a credit risk and unreliable employee candidate. Please do not insult my intelligence by saying these actions do not happen because management decisions are made in confidence.
Although companies lose money from dishonest employees, my question is did these companies have enough checks and balances to detect fraud and embezzlement? Having been issued company credit cards on numerous occasions, I never violated that agreement of using the card for personal reasons. My credit situation has NOTHING to do with my integrity as an employee. My credit situation is the result of long-term unemployed affecting ten million Americans.
Honestly I get nervous each time I apply for a job wondering if they will discard my many years of experience because my credit is terrible because of a short sale, a charge off for a second mortgage and a couple of credit cards. I have plans rectify my credit status, but if I am not working, how is this possible? If I cannot get a job because the credit rating is low, I am caught in a vicious circle.
We need legislation to protect the long-term unemployed from discrimination because of bad credit because of the economy. We need to continue to keep credit checks for people who will handle cash, police and other security personnel and a very limited number of positions or situations. Many states have introduced bills to restrict credit checks for employment, but many bills are stalled somewhere in the legislative process. Two states Hawaii and Washington have such legislation in place. My state Texas, introduced H 437 was introduced late 2008, but has yet to move beyond introduction.
We need to contact our legislators and insist on the implementation of this legislation. We need to provide tools for people to secure work, instead of penalizing for non-work. We, the unemployed need support, not other barriers from employment. We have lost homes, insurance and credit reputations. We do not need an additional employment challenge.
Be aware that credit companies will lobby against such legislation because these companies make profits from offering credit search services. A quick Google of background check companies will return a tremendous number of companies. Let’s get smart America and remove these discriminatory barriers for true fair employment and demand that credit checks for employment be removed from companies.