New Illinois Law Prohibits Use of Credit History in Hiring and Employment Decisions

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Effective January 1, 2011, a new law will prohibit many Illinois employers from basing hiring, promotion, and other employment decisions on an employee or job applicant's credit history.

The Employee Credit Privacy Act (HB 4658), which was signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn on August 10, 2010, also forbids employers from inquiring about or obtaining a copy of an applicant or employee's credit history or credit report. Employers will still be permitted to conduct background checks on applicants and employees, so long as that check does not include a credit history or report. Illinois joins Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, and Louisiana in prohibiting the use of credit histories in employment decisions.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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