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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 15, 2020 09:50 AM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Prohibiting Employer Credit Checks
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation to prohibit the use of credit information in employment decisions.

A 2012 paper in the Journal of Applied Psychology found no relationship between deviant employee behavior such as theft and credit score. While experts point to a fundamental misunderstanding of what a credit score describes about a person’s trustworthiness, the fact is that people of color and those living in poverty are most negatively affected by this practice. Banning the use of credit checks for most jobs removes one more barrier faced by citizens of Pennsylvania who seek to improve their financial lives.

In recent years, ten states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington), the District of Columbia, and the cities of Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia have passed laws restricting the use of credit reports used by employers for employment purposes.

My legislation will prohibit the use of consumer credit reports for purposes of employment or for making an adverse employment decision, unless (1) the consumer applies for or holds employment requiring government security clearance, (2) the consumer applies for or holds employment with a state or local government agency requiring use of a consumer report, (3) the consumer applies for or holds a supervisory or professional position with a financial institution, or (4) it is otherwise required by law.

If you have any questions, please contact my office at 787-5970. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB31