New Law Bans Employers from Inquiring into Applicants’ Credit Histories

September 14th, 2015

Mayor de Blasio signed into law, effective as of September 3, 2015, that prohibits employers from performing credit checks on job applicants, except in limited situations. The purpose of the law is to prohibit employment discrimination based on an applicant’s consumer credit history. The new law amends the City’s Human Rights Law concerning the ability of employers to make decisions regarding job seekers.


The new law does not apply to certain employment positions including National Security, various public safety positions, and positions that have signatory authority over third party funds or assets valued at $10,000 or more.


Although federal law allows employers to conduct credit history checks with the applicants’ permission, 11 states currently ban employers from disclosing their credit history, and an additional 28 bills are pending. However, the law recently passed in New York is the strongest due to the exclusion of unjustified exemptions. The bar is relatively low in many other states regarding which positions qualify for the credit check ban. For example, in California any position that is “managerial” is exempt from the credit check ban.


If you own a business, it may be necessary to review your policies and procedures regarding hiring decisions to ensure that they comply with credit check laws. Employment law is one aspect of the legal considerations a business must contend with. If you have questions regarding legal rights and responsibilities as a business owner, contact an experienced business attorney. Call Bellavia Blatt, PC at (516) 873-3000 or (631) 224-7000.

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