Monday, August 23, 2010

New credit-checking legislation signed into law

Vedder Price PC
Thomas G. Hancuch, Laura Sack, Roy P. Salins and Christopher Nybo
USA August 16 2010

Last April, we alerted you to a fast-moving proposal in the Illinois General Assembly to prohibit employers from using an employee’s credit history in employment decisions (Check Your State Law Before Credit-Checking Your Employees, 4/13/10). With Governor Patrick Quinn’s signature one week ago, this proposal became law. When it goes into effect on January 1, 2011, Illinois will join a small group of states banning credit checks for most job applicants.
The Employee Credit Privacy Act (Public Act 096-1426) (the “Act”) generally prohibits employers in Illinois from:
refusing to hire, discharging or otherwise discriminating against an applicant or employee because of the individual’s credit history or credit report;
inquiring about an applicant’s or employee’s credit history; or
ordering or obtaining an applicant’s or employee’s credit report.
“Credit history” is defined as an individual’s past borrowing and repaying behavior, including paying bills on time and managing debt and other fi nancial obligations, while “credit report” means any written or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency that bears on a consumer’s creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity or credit history.

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