Passed by a vote of 47-3, the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act bans employers in New York City from using potential employees’ credit histories in making employment decisions. The bill amends the city’s Human Rights Law to make it an unlawful discriminatory practice to request or use an applicant’s consumer credit history in making employment decisions.
The bill, however, also includes a list of limited carve-outs that allow employers to use credit checks where “necessary,” according to the New York City Council news release. For example, the bill would not prohibit an employer from using consumer credit history where its use is otherwise required by state or federal law. Further, the bill would allow employers to use credit checks when hiring for certain positions of public trust. The bill also would permit the use of credit checks when hiring for positions that involve potential cyber security risks or fiduciary duties to the employer and the ability to enter financial agreements valued at $10,000 or more.
“Credit checks for employment unfairly lock New Yorkers out of jobs,” said Council member Brad Lander, who sponsored the bill. “So I’m proud that the council is passing the strongest bill of its kind to end discriminatory employment credit checks.” “All New Yorkers deserve the chance to compete for a job based on their skills and qualifications, not three digits on a financial report,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in the news release. “Just because you’ve struggled with medical bills or student loans does not make you any less hard working, qualified, or trustworthy than anyone else.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act into law.