Elizabeth Warren Introduces The Equal Employment for All Act

warren-elizabethAfter the financial crisis of 2008, many people (myself included) had their credit ratings destroyed. Credit card debt, foreclosures, bankruptcy and financial problems have put some Americans into a hole they are having a hard time digging out of – especially when it comes finding a job. While the current unemployment rate continues to decline, qualified applicants have been turned down for jobs based solely on their credit rating.

In 2010, after resigning from Sprint/Nextel, I was turned down for a better position with Spherion that I was more than qualified for, simply because of my credit. According to the Society For Human Resource Management, nearly half of organizations have credit checks as part of the employment screening process. While credit history is something that is important when it comes making a hiring decision for people who may handle large amounts of cash on a daily basis – such as an armored car driver – it really is unfair to deny a job to someone who won’t be a serious risk to a company’s finances just because they may have an unpaid credit card bill or past due student loan debt.

Via Forbes.com:

“Jobs associated with maintenance work, telephone tech support, assisting in an office, working as a delivery driver, selling insurance, laboring as a home care aide, supervising a stockroom and serving frozen yogurt are subject to credit checks. Some employers even conduct credit checks on existing employees when they are considering a promotion, according to Amy Traub, senior policy analyst with research and policy center, Demos.”

Thankfully we have sensible people like Senator Elizabeth Warren, who understand how this ends up being unnecessarily discriminatory and affects otherwise qualified people in an extremely negative way:

“Warren’s argument is that poor credit is often discriminatory and affects minorities more than other groups. The reasons for bad credit are often tied to medical bills and unemployment, and further impacted by economic downturns–not an individual’s character or ability.”

In filing this bill (which has been killed in previous sessions of Congress), Senator Warren stated the following on her blog:

“Most people recognize that bad credit means they will have trouble borrowing money or they will pay more to borrow. But many don’t realize that a damaged credit rating can also block access to a job.

It was once thought that credit history would provide insight into someone’s character, and many companies routinely require credit reports from job applicants. But research has shown that an individual’s credit rating has little or no correlation with his ability to succeed at work. A bad credit rating is far more often the result of unexpected personal crisis or economic downturn than a reflection of someone’s abilities.”

Yes, the economy is getting better and unemployment rates are slowly dropping, but unnecessary credit checks on prospective employees aren’t helping and are keeping qualified applicants from exiting the unemployment rolls. Some states like Vermont already have legislation like this in place, but this bill would make discrimination based on credit history illegal nationwide. Please sign on and show your support for the Equal Employment for All Act.


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  • Barbara Goode

    Bring turned down for a job solely because you have bad credit is as discriminatory as being turned down because of your faith. Why does your credit matter if you’re applying to be an office worker? I have worked in offices, and whatever small amount of petty cash there is is always locked away. These practices have to stop. The Right Wing dummies who are behind this should be ashamed.

    • Andrew Rapp

      So credit checking a bank worker or a casino worker would be discriminatory?

      • MiMg

        Yes, because HOW is a person supposed to IMPROVE their credit, if employers are DENYING them employment!

  • I’mRightYerWrong

    How about making it so if you have a federal felony you can get it expunged? Look how many people have felonies for white collar or drug crimes that can’t get a good job even years after their conviction because a federal felony stays on their record forever.

  • Anthonij

    The whole credit rating system is flawed and needs to be overhauled but this aspect of it is especially egregious… As always, Warren is busy trying to accomplish real things for real working Americans, while the Republican dolts obstruct and enjoy their bloated pay checks…

    Senator Warren is one of the few politicians in this country who is at the same time intelligent, honest and compassionate. I’d love to see her or someone like her in the White House after President Obama’s second term is up…

    • Pipercat

      Yeah, and don’t get me started on how she affects the price of tea in China!

    • Anthonij

      Hmmm… I would agree that if she out-and-out lied, that is, dare I say it, dishonest… and bad!… lol… But do you know for certain that she is not partly of Native American descent? And if so, what ‘percent’ of a minority ethnicity need one be in order to be a ‘real’ one?… Just asking… And if it’s a cultural question, what about all the Native Americans (whole, half, whatever) that were packed off to boarding schools and raised as if they were not at all Native American?… I think they can legitimately say they’re Native American despite having had no direct exposure to any Native American culture (I have a friend who is in this situation)…

      So again, if Warren lied to get ahead, that is indeed decidedly disappointing… But is the situation here a bit more complicated than that?… I suspect so but don’t know…

      In any event, I stand by my opinion that _as a senator_, she stands out for her intelligence, honesty and compassion. She has been a model law-maker so far.

      • Anthonij

        In my revised statement I specified _as a senator_ … Yes, her statements and policy positions display an honesty about the realities of the socio-economic condition of working Americans…

        A perfect politician I have yet to see… A perfect human being I have yet to see… And the misbehaviour of public figures of all sorts is no longer ever particularly shocking… Nonetheless, she’s a great senator…

        And this is for sure — she is far more likely to take a pro-Native American (or other pro-minority) stance than the buffoons on the other side of the aisle of the Senate…

      • Pipercat

        I see your cognitive dissonance and raise you two pivot projections!

      • Anthonij

        C’mon, enlighten us… What are in your opinion the flawed policies she has pushed as a senator? What is her dispicable past? lol… Lying to further her career is bad, if that is what she really did, it is disappointing, bad in the eyes of some, very bad even, but dispicable?… You mean like Bush-Cheney dispicable? Treason and war crimes dispicable?…. lol … Please, show your Corporate-fascisto-leanings and enlighten us benighted progressives!

      • MiMg

        Get a clue, Warren is one of the BEST Senators EVER

      • Jamie Raunig

        Honestly people,,, we are all mutts in the US. FFS!!! go back far enough and most of us are guilty of some form of genocide just by being born in America and following the lead of the ”rich”…. get over yourselves already!!!

      • strayaway

        We are all mutts but most of us don’t commit fraud on our resume for our own advantage like the good Senator or entertain masochistic self hatred by imagining we are guilty of genocide.

      • MiMg

        As someone who is 1/32 Sioux Indian, I don’t look Native in any way shape or form, but it’s true of my heritage

    • MiMg

      her heritage has nothing to do with this attempt to prevent discrimination against people trying to get employed simply because they have credit issues

  • Pipercat

    Foolish proles, how dare they luxuriate themselves with those high priced doctors and hospitals. Besides, nobody ever loses a job unless they deserve it. As for divorces………….

  • John Clark

    I like that you’re posting a positive article with an ask. We are so fixated on countering the right wing message machine that we don’t talk enough about making positive change. So, more Warren, less Bachman.

  • J William Pope

    “Research has shown…” I wish Ms. Warren would cite this research (Yes, I’ve seen the “study” to which she refers).

    Why did Mr. Schewitz “resign” from Sprint? He doesn’t say.

    He claims he was “more than qualified” for a position at Spherion, but was rejected “simply” due to his credit. I’ll take him at his word for the sake of argument – but perhaps there was another applicant who was also “more than qualified” who happened to have good credit. Why would it be unreasonable for Spherion to choose the applicant with better credit?

    Do job seekers with good credit enjoy an “unfair” advantage?

    • MiMg

      Get a clue folks, its very difficult to get up when you’re down, why should employers get to make getting up nearly impossible!

  • MiMg

    you’re a judgmental, bigot