Target: Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, John Boehner
Goal: Stop employers from conducting credit checks when hiring employees
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently proposed a bill that would remove an employer’s right to check a job applicant’s credit report during the hiring process. Because so many Americans have been denied employment due to negative information on their credit reports, many of our politicians believe it is time to end discrimination against financially struggling Americans. Urge Republican leaders to make this a bi-partisan effort to make the hiring process as fair as possible.
Though one out of every five consumers have errors on their credit reports, employers continue to deny ten percent of applicants a job based solely on their credit status. Due to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, an employer is permitted to check an applicant’s credit with consent, and nearly half of them do. This results in discrimination based on financial difficulties, making life considerably more stressful for those seeking employment to mitigate their money troubles.
Senator Warren claims that there is little evidence to support a correlation between job performance and credit status. “[T]his is a point of basic fairness…people who get hit with hard economic blows end up getting squeezed out of the system. This is another way the game is rigged against hardworking middle-class families,” she says. If credit status cannot determine employee success, then there is little reason for it to be factored into the hiring process at all. The bill does, however, permit employers to check credit for any government positions that require a national security clearance.
Advocates of the bill also highlight the importance of protecting women, minorities, students, and seniors – groups that are disproportionately affected by credit checks.
Though it would seem that reducing discrimination, boosting economic opportunity, and leveling the occupational playing field would be celebrated by all, there is no present support from Republicans in the Senate. This must change if the bill is to be passed.
Elizabeth Milito, a senior executive counsel at the National Federation of Independent Business claims that barring credit checks would “disadvantage many businesses that use credit as one component of a background check,” a quote that highlights the pervasive conservative deification of big business and the squelching of the middle-class American who is just trying to get a job. What should be a bi-partisan effort to increase opportunity has become a game of corporate interest versus the American people.
Stand with Senator Warren and urge Speaker John Boehner and his fellow Republican leaders to stop denying job applicants employment based on their credit status.
Dear Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, John Boehner,
Senator Elizabeth Warren recently introduced a bill that would stop employers from denying job applicants a position based on credit status. Credit checks are common during the hiring process in America, with half of all employers using the information to decide who they should hire. This is problematic because credit reports do not predict an applicant’s success at any job, nor do they contain any important information that an employer needs to know. This information is used solely to discriminate against those who have negative information on their reports.
Women, minorities, students, and seniors are predominantly affected by credit checks, and such discrimination is not only unjust, but it is bad for our economy. It keeps struggling people out of the job market, and these people are the ones who desperately need these jobs. Please support Senator Warren’s bill and work towards fair hiring for all Americans.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Lotus Head via Wikimedia Commons