The Employee Credit Privacy Act, signed by Illinois governor Pat Quinn in August of 2010, prevents Illinois employers from using credit checks as part of background screenings for certain positions, the Northwest Herald reports.
Many other states have signed similar laws with intentions of assisting prospective workers whose scores may have been damaged by the recession. It also creates a wider applicant pool for employers who might be shutting out qualified applicants with low credit scores. Terri Greeno, owner of Express Employment Professionals in Crystal Lake, notes that since the legislation was enacted, credit checks have become far less popular. "It's a landmine in the human resources world," she told the media outlet. "Companies must be consistent about how they employ these checks to avoid litigation." A recent study from researchers at three colleges led by assistant Louisiana State University professor Jeremy Bernerth found that a prospective worker's bad credit score isn't a precursor to inferior work, MSNBC notes. The report revealed that those with lower scores tend to have more easygoing personalities, while people with higher numbers are likely to be more conscientious.