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Mykle Ykle

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Should employers not hire you or fire you when they discover your bad credit history?

It has been a sad situation for me and many others in the USA (I don't know if this is an issue worldwide) I have great qualifications and work experience. Yet, in the majority of states you are obligated to submit to a criminal background check which is completely understandable, but that also includes a credit check. I understand that a credit check should be mandatory for executive, banking, casinos and industries directly involving money. Sadly, those of us with bad credit are being discriminated for regular jobs i.e. retail, call centers, customer service.

The government, banks and debt collectors wants their money, as they should. Yet, if you have bad credit, it's a lot harder to find a job making it impossible to get out of debt, let alone be a productive citizen.

This is an issue that is not widely discussed, I've searched online and there are some bills being proposed to end this discrimination but I don't think is really going anywhere.

I would like to have the TED community input in the most civil way possible.


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    Feb 6 2013: hmm. Just realized I did not actually answer your question.

    No, I do not think it should be illegal to do credit checks. We are already bound by so many laws that it makes hiring difficult. Today we can verify work history but little else. It used to be that we could get all kinds of information regarding employees but lawsuits have forced companies to keep their mouths shut. Up until recently we could ask if an employee worked for another company and if they were re-hirable. AND that was it. If the former employer said "No, they are not re-hireable" Then that was the end of the conversation. Nothing more could be learned as employers kept their mouths shut for fear of being sued.

    This last 12 months even that is being restricted to "They worked here and that is all I can tell you"

    Lawsuits by former employees have scared companies into divulging very little information and in many places unless the employee broke the law AND was prosecuted AND found guilty the employer can legally say nothing about it. Many times it is not worth the court fees to do that so the employee is sent on the way.

    Credit checks, while they may come to pass, will be one more thing that ties our hands.
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      Feb 6 2013: Thank you for your input, I don't mean illegal to run a credit check, but illegal to not hire you exclusively due to your bad credit.
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        Feb 6 2013: ahh. Makes sense and certainly do able. Although I would certainly disagree with a law that made it illegal to discriminate due to bad credit. Just a personal choice. If I had two equally qualified applicants and one with bad credit and one without, I know the one without the credit problems poses less risk.

        However, these laws usually have very little teeth and/or are hard to enforce. Discrimination happens all the time and if such a law were passed and an employer still wanted to discriminate they would just not tell you why they did not hire you, or let you know that they went with a different person for whatever reason. Sad to say, but then the burden of evidence would be on the person not hired to prove they were discriminated against.

        Basically they just skirt the law with polite talk.

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