News & Resources

Maryland to halt credit checks in hiring

Jan 31, 2011 Matt Roesly

Maryland lawmakers are working to ban the practice of checking the consumer credit reports of prospective employees, according to Credit report screening is quite common among the nation's employers, however Maryland would be just the fifth state to outlaw the practice behind Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon and Washington. Brought to the state legislature as Maryland House Bill 87, the Job Applicant Fairness Act would eliminate the ability for employers to determine a job applicant's viability based on his or her personal financial standing. However, it would not apply to sensitive institutions like banking and law enforcement, the site details. Maryland State Delegate Kirill Reznik said the bill is geared to protect lower-income workers who may have fallen on tough times during the recession. "Having bad credit does not make someone a bad person," Reznik said in a statement. "Costly medical problems, a messy divorce and many other understandable reasons to have poor credit have nothing to do with one's ability to do a good job." At an October meeting of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Christine V. Walters of the Society of Human Resources Management said that 13 percent of organizations run credit checks on prospective employees, while 47 percent "consider" one's credit history in the hiring process.