New York Trying to Ban Credit Reports Follow Up

As a follow up to the blog post “New York Trying to Ban Credit Reports,” we will discuss Intro 261, sponsored by Brooklyn’s Brad Lander. Into 261 would make it illegal for a business, labor organization, staffing agency or regulatory agency to require or utilize “information contained in the consumer credit history of an applicant for employment.” The measure passed by the City Council by a vote of 47-3. In its infancy the bill drew objection from the business community led by the Partnership for New York City. In a letter addressed to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, business owners “object to the language of this Council bill because it applies to all jobs and allows for no discretion on the part of employers, who must have the ability to protect their customers and themselves from loss and liability.”

The original language in the bill offered a very limited exemption, “Employers that are required by state or federal law to us an individual’s consumer credit history for employment purposes.” The partnership recommended modeling the new law after Connecticut’s 2011 ban on credit checks for employment purposes, which makes exemptions for:

  • Financial institutions
  • Any managerial posts
  • All jobs with access to consumer or employee personal or financial Info
  • All workers with access to assets valued over $2,005.00
  • Any gigs that involve “fiduciary responsibility to employer”

Despite these exemptions, the New Economy Project predicts the measure will be “the strongest law of its kind in the county.”