It’s a story we have heard across the nation, but also right here in Illinois: an employee loses his job and struggles paying his bills. As he applies for more jobs, his poor credit keeps him from gaining employment. He falls into worse debt and continues to miss job opportunities because of poor credit. For the folks in Illinois, this won’t be a problem much longer.
Last week, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed the Employee Credit Privacy Act, a new law that will limit employers’ ability to obtain and use credit history information on new hires. Effective January 1, 2010, the law applies to most Illinois employers, with the following exceptions:
- banks and financial institutions
- insurance companies
- debt collection agencies
- and state law and government agencies.
Employers will only be permitted to access credit information if there is a “bona fide occupational qualification.”
There’s a lot more on this issue that you’ll need to understand before making any employment decisions, so please read Baker & McKenzie’s article “Illinois Bans Credit Checks in Hiring.” The information you need to know to move forward and remain in compliance is available by clicking here.