U.S. Rep. Al Lawson’s, D-Fla., proposal cracking down on how companies use credit reports when they hire new employees is gaining traction on Capitol Hill. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, and U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., are cosponsoring the bill.
At the start of the month, Lawson introduced the “Restricting Credit Checks for Employment Decisions Act” which cleared the U.S. House Financial Services Committee last week.
“The bill prevents employers from seeking credit scores or credit information when interviewing or determining whether to hire a potential employee. It prohibits hiring managers from asking questions about past defaults or bankruptcies during a job interview or including questions about credit history on applications,” Lawson’s office noted. “The bill has two exemptions for national security clearances purposes and instances where credit check is required by local, state or federal law.”
“My bill creates greater access to the job market by eliminating unnecessary employment barriers,” said Lawson, who sits on Financial Services Committee, said last week. “An individual’s history does not prove a person’s ability to perform a job well. When used in employment decisions credit scores only serve to limit an individual’s opportunity. The Restricting Credit Checks for Employment Decisions Act levels the playing field for all job applicants.”
So far, there is no companion bill over in the U.S. Senate. Besides Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., is cosponsoring the proposal.
First elected to Congress in 2016 after spending almost three decades in the Florida Legislature, Lawson represents all of Baker, Gadsden, Hamilton and Madison Counties and parts of Columbia, Duval, Jefferson and Leon Counties. The district is reliably Democratic,
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.