N.J. may ban credit checks in hiring process

    Assemblywoman Shirley Turner says applicants’ credit ratings have been hard hit by the recession. It’s a Catch-22 situation for those most in need of jobs.

    A New Jersey Assembly committee will consider a measure prohibiting employers from using financial background checks in their hiring decisions.

    With many people applying for few job openings, Sen. Shirley Turner says the use of credit checks on potential employees is becoming more commonplace.

    “This is a catch 22 for so many people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and now they can’t get a job because they can’t pay their bills and they have a poor credit rating,” said Turner.

    The legislation would subject employers who use those credit checks to penalties from the state Labor Department as well as potential lawsuits. Turner says she expects opposition to the measure from the business community. She says Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington have already approved similar laws.

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