Sen. Jessie Ulibarri (D-Colo.) has proposed a bill that would prohibit employers in Colorado from using an individual’s credit score and credit history as a factor in the hiring process “if the information is unrelated to the job.”
“A lot of people have fallen on hard economic times,” Ulibarri said, according to OurArvadaNews.com. “But that should be punishment enough. That doesn’t mean they’re more prone to engage in unethical work practices.”
Employers have substantially increased the use of credit history in hiring decisions over the past several years. The bill says that the practice creates “chronic barriers” for individuals applying for employment after a job loss because they are more likely to have lower credit scores.
The bill would require employers to notify potential candidates if their credit history information led to an “adverse” hiring determination and would allow job applicants to sue employers who violate the law, OurArvadaNews.com reports.
The legislation does not apply, however, to employment inquiries in industries where an individual’s credit score is “substantially job-related,” like positions throughout the financial sector.
The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce has opposed the bill, saying that it “significantly restricts the ability of employers to gather critical information about potential employees before making hiring decisions,” Kate Horle, a chamber spokeswoman, said, according to OurArvadaNews.com.
“Consumer reports, such as credit reports gathered as part of background checks, are an important piece of information for prospective employers, especially when the position includes access to confidential or proprietary information,” the chamber said, OurArvadaNews.com reports.