A bill under consideration in Maryland would limit how employers use applicants' credit reports
and histories when determining job eligibility, The Associated Press reports.
The state House of Representatives recently voted to pass the bill, and a similar bill named the Job Applicant Fairness Act has been approved by the Senate, the news source reports. If it becomes law, employers would have to be able to show that the information in a credit report is substantially job related when conducting pre-employment screening
. The bill would also allow legal action if the employer bases a firing decision, salary or other terms of employment on the credit report. The owner of a Baltimore-based document destruction company told The Baltimore Sun that running credit checks on potential employees helped mitigate the risk of fraud against clients. "It's vital to safeguard our clients' information," Valerie Androutsopoulus told the newspaper. "We don't base our hiring decisions solely on credit history." According to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management, 47 percent of employers conduct credit background checks
for selected job candidates, and 13 percent run the checks for all applicants.