Using credit checks to screen potential new hires

March 21, 2011|By Liz F. Kay

What do you think about state lawmakers' proposal to restrict how businesses run credit checks on potential new hires?

Sun statehouse reporter Julie Bykowicz wrote in today's paper about how the practice has impacted some Maryland residents who have been denied jobs due to their credit history. Some businesses oppose the limitations because they feel it helps them identify

The Senate's version of the bill would allow employers who deal with sensitive information to run the checks, as well as for high-level employees such as a CFO. But businesses would otherwise be prohibited from denying employment based on the results of a credit check.

And some banks are required by federal law to conduct credit checks, so those would continue, and the Senate bill would permit credit unions to do so as well.

Adovcates for the poor say credit checks prevent people from being hired due to poor credit scores resulting from medical problems, divorces or a relative's death that has no bearing on whether a person is reliable or trustworthy.

Do you think these credit checks are necessary? A fair amount of troubled financial history would be chronicled in court records, which anyone can search online. In Maryland, foreclosures, liens and judgments would be recorded in courts if someone decided to pursue debts through the judicial system.

Have you submitted to a credit check during the hiring process, or do you use it when hiring staff yourself? Tell us about your experience --- and whether it's valuable --- in the comments below.

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