Last week, the New York City Council passed legislation that bans most NYC employers from checking a prospective employee’s credit history during the hiring process. The bill, sponsored by councilman Bill Lander, passed by a vote of 47-3 and serves as a victory for labor and consumer activists who have long been arguing that credit history is a poor predictor of job performance. Lander stated, “Credit checks for employment unfairly lock New Yorkers out of jobs…Millions of Americans who have bad credit, would also be great employees. What they need to repair their credit is a job, and to make it harder for them to get a job is the definition of unfair.”
The legislation, however, does not bar the usage of credit checks for jobs involving “public trust,” which include police officers, some high-level city workers and positions that involve cyber security or fiduciary duties.