District of Columbia Council Passes Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act to Ban Credit Checks by Employers

 CreditReport

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Council for the District of Columbia (D.C.) has passed the “Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act” (Bill 21-244) to amend the Human Rights Act of 1977 and prohibit employers from taking discriminatory action against job applicants and current employees based on their credit report information.

The Act prevents employers from requiring, requesting, suggesting, or causing any applicant or employee to submit credit information, from using credit information of applicants or employees, and also provides fines for violations of the Act and development of a public information campaign to educate people about the Act.

The D.C. Office of Human Rights will investigate any charges filed for violating the “Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act” and fines can be issued if violations are found. Employers can receive a fine of $1,000 for the first violation, $2,500 for the second violation, and $5,000 for each subsequent violation.

This Act shall take effect following approval by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of congressional review as provided by the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, and publication in the District of Columbia Register. (UPDATE: Mayor Signs District of Columbia Ban on Most Employment Credit Inquiries on 2/15/2017.)

The Act does not apply to federal jobs, police jobs, financial institution jobs with access to personal financial information, or where otherwise required by D.C. law or pursuant to a lawfully issued subpoena. The full text of the Act is available at http://lims.dccouncil.us/Download/33953/B21-0244-Engrossment.pdf.

Eleven states have passed laws restricting credit report use by employers: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. For a summary of these laws, visit www.esrcheck.com/Articles/States-with-Laws-Regulating-Credit-Reports-for-Employment/186/.

Some cities also ban credit checks by employers. New York City passed the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (SCDEA) that took effect on September 3, 2015. The New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) released enforcement guidance to help employers comply with the law.

More Information about Credit Checks from ESR

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a global provider of background check solutions – offers employers information about states with laws regulating credit checks for employment and blogs about credit checks. For more information about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

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