N.J. may bar credit reports as basis for turning down job applicants

The New Jersey Senate Labor committee has voted to prohibit employers from using credit reports as the basis for turning down job applicants.

At a time of high unemployment, no one should be rejected for a job because of their credit rating, said Sen. Sandra Cunningham, D-Hudson.

“You’re saying that because a person has lost their home, because a person has not been able to pay their credit card debt, they cannot be treated with respect and dignity and giving an opportunity for honest employment,” she said.

The Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey says the legislation would be an infringement on companies’ rights to use all available information to select the best job applicants.

Also opposing the measure is the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

“This current legislation as it stands will in our belief add to the cost of doing business in our state by imposing new mandates, restrictions, and regulations on the employer community,” said Mike Egenton, chamber vice president. “This legislation also has the potential of a new round of costly lawsuits towards our employers.”

Opponents say New Jersey should table the measure until the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issues its decision on whether credit checks should be regulated.

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