Connecticut And Maryland Act To Restrict Employers’ Use Of Credit Reports

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Two more states – Connecticut and Maryland – have joined Illinois, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii, and several cities, in severely limiting employers’ ability to use a job applicant’s or current employee’s credit history or credit-related information. This affects decisions in hiring or promotions, as well as in determining compensation or other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the Connecticut law on July 13, 2011. Gov. Martin O’Malley had signed that state’s Job Applicant Fairness Act (JAFA) on April 12, 2011. Both laws take effect on October 1, 2011.

The Context

There are efforts to enact such restrictions at the federal level as well, but under current circumstances their prospects do not appear bright. Members of Congress have attempted to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act through various bills, including the “Equal Employment For All Act.” This proposed federal amendment would provide roughly the same protections to workers as will the Connecticut and Maryland laws.

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