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New People's Republic of California Law Actually Makes It Easier to Use Credit Checks...

In case you missed it, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 22 which will take effect on January 1, 2012. Here's what that says - Employers may consider a credit report for the following positions, only if the candidate is informed that a report will be sought and they have obtained written permission:

  • A managerial position Cali
  • A position in the state Department of Justice
  • A sworn peace officer or other law enforcement
  • A position for which the information contained in the report is required by law to be disclosed or obtained
  • A position that involves regular access to confidential information such as credit card account information, Social security number, or Date of birth
  • A position which the person can enter into financial transactions on behalf of the company
  • A position that involves access to confidential or proprietary information
  • A position that involves regular access to cash totaling ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more of the employer, a customer, or client, during the workday

You have to love the People's Republic.  This one's interesting though - by signing a law that restricts the use of credit checks, they've actually helped HR pros like you and I use credit checks with more confidence in all the situations above.  Before, there was a lot of random criticism about credit checks, now you can use credit checks in all the situations above with more confidence.

The reality is that you really don't need credit checks in situations beyond what's listed above.  I'd argue you don't even need them in everything listed above, and the law means that you're a lot less likely to take a random lawsuit on credit checks as long as you're in compliance with the above list.

A rare circumstance where you might want an employment law that began in the People's Replublic to catch on in the rest of the states?  

Perhaps.  The far right will cry foul, but the sensible moderates will consider this a nice compromise in order to have piece of mind on who they CAN run credit checks on.



From a "have always worked for companies HQ'd in WA state" perspective it's easy to forget just how many companies use these checks in non-BFOQ roles/circumstances.

Like you, I also don't think that the mere presence of a list item above means a credit check should be run.


great information.

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