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Why NY banned credit checks for most hiring processes

New York is a leader in fighting discrimination through passing laws to help encourage fairness and equality. The same is true when deciding who to hire for your business. In an attempt to gain as much information on a possible candidate, you may find yourself infringing upon state legislature that prohibits certain interview questions and procedures. This includes requiring credit checks for non-government employees or applicants who are seeking a position within a financial institution where large amounts of funds will be handled regularly.

Motives for making this decision

From an employer’s perspective, credit checks can garner valuable information that may not be obvious or easy to come by through simply meeting a job candidate. A credit check offers information that leads to assumptions on the trustworthiness and responsibility of an individual. A candidate may have bad credit due to medical bills or student loans. However, the credit report will oftentimes unfairly taint that person’s image when deciding if they are a good fit or not. What’s more, candidates have a right to speak up when their ability to perform the necessary skills is not related to the number on their credit score.

Stereotyping race and bad credit

According to recent studies on race and credit score, over 64 percent of Caucasians have a credit rating over the 720 mark. This is a drastic difference with Latino and African -Americans who fall significantly below in credit score ratings. Unfortunately, screening applicants with bad credit has other implications attached to it. Poor credit is often connected with low economic status and being a racial minority. As an employer, making these types of judgments can lead to a legal dispute and cost more than refraining and evaluating applicants more objectively.

Have you ever felt discriminated during an interview?

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