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New rules proposed for job credit checks

Feb. 13, 2009 at 1:17 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. government and several states are considering rules to prevent employers from screening out job applicants based on bad credit.

Acting Chairman Stuart Ishimaru of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has called on his agency to begin issuing guidelines on how credit checks should be carried out, USA Today reported Friday.

In Congress, Reps. Matthew Lesser, D-Conn. and Marcus Oshiro, D-Hawaii, have introduced legislation requiring employers to prove that a credit check is vital to hiring.

The lawmakers say the checks keep needy people from getting jobs.

"It's almost like being forever sentenced to debtors' prison," said Oshiro.

"There's an awareness that a lot of people have bad credit for reasons that have nothing to do with their worth as an employee." adds Lesser.

Missouri and Texas are currently considering placing restrictions on credit checks, the newspaper said. Washington state enacted restrictions in 2007.

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