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Picture this scenario,

You lost your job, due to outsourcing, restructuring, or layoffs.

You burned through your savings trying to make ends meet while you search for work, but a bad economy and competition from hundreds if not thousands of other unemployed workers have made your job hunt last longer than 6 months with no end in sight.

But the bills, the bills don't stop coming, and while you do your best to cut down on things you use, that mortgage payment amount you owe becomes hard to reach and despite your best efforts, you fall behind.

Bill after bill, late fee after late fee takes its toll, and over time, your credit is ruined.

But that's okay right? The economy is picking up again, jobs are being added but for some reason every place you apply to never calls back.

To many Americans this is an all too familiar scenario that many are living in as I write.

The sad fact is that there are already two strikes against this person, the discrimination the long term unemployed face (people who have been unemployed for longer than 6 months), and a bad credit report.

Not to mention the fact that are still roughly 15 million Americans that are jobless, and many more working part time but are looking for full time work.

So three strikes.

For the people in this scenario, it's an out, and that's a huge problem.

I want to focus on employment discrimination for those with bad credit (for the purposes of keeping it real, I have to mention that employers cannot actually see your credit score). The problem is this: There are a lot of people looking for work, employers literally have hundreds of job applications to go through. An easy way to eliminate stacks of potential employees from the list is to first, eliminate the long term unemployed, and then eliminate those who have bad credit.

It's an employers market.

In a good economy people tend to turn a blind eye to this discrimination. Citing the fact that since there are so many jobs around that people in this situation must just be irresponsible and lazy.

But this attitude towards hardworking people who through no fault of their own have a bad credit report persists into hard economic times. Where there are layoffs and businesses going bankrupt or firing workers who then have nowhere else to go to pay their bills. Or if someone gets sick or injured and loses their job and acquires medical debts that they cannot pay.

According to a 2007 study in the American Journal of Medicine 62.1% of all bankruptcies are attributed to medical debt.

Bankruptcy really isn't the best thing to have on your credit report.

Neither are defaulted student loans, which attribute $76 Billion of the total 1 trillion dollars in total student loan debt.

Thankfully, there are eight states with laws on the books banning employers from using credit scores in their hiring decisions. And there have been less than successful attempts at federal legislation.

A bill introduced in 2009 called "H.R. 3149 Equal Employment for All Act" was the first attempt at stopping people from being discriminated against because of their credit. But it was essentially killed in committee through aggressive lobbying. Organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Consumer Data Industry Association, and the Financial Services Roundtable opposed the bill, spending roughly $24 Million dollars in lobbying that was used to kill the resolution, versus the $2 Million used to support it. That is 9.8 times more money, no wonder it got crushed.

Some of that money went unsurprisingly to some of the members of the House Financial Services committee where the bill was being introduced, members like Randy Nuegebauer (R-TX) who received $26,050 in campaign contributions from Credit agencies and finance companies, Spencer Bachus (R-AL) who received $57,250 in contributions, Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) got a whopping $76,400 and, Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) received $16,350 in contributions. All of these committee members received campaign contributions from interest groups that opposed H.R. 3149. And it's not just Republicans, you go through the list and there are many Democrats that received campaign contributions from firms that fought this resolution.

This election cycle, TransUnion itself gave money to Tennessee Republican Bob Corker's campaign through a PAC as well as donating to President Barack Obama. Experian also gave nearly $250,000 to Republicans and nearly $80,000 to Democrats alone as well as spending nearly $500,000 on lobbying.

It's safe to say that some of that money will go to fighting a new bill called, H.R.321 sponsored by Steve Cohen (D-Tenn) which is this congress's version of the Equal Employment for All Act. It's currently being held up in committee as well and is looking like it will suffer the same fate as the bill before it.

During a 2010 hearing on H.R. 3149 Representative Nuegebauer actively argued against the proposed bill by saying:

"I just wanted to respond in that I think what is interesting is I think about 60 percent of the businesses in this country use credit reports as one of the tools that they use in making a final determination. So this is not like--evidently, there has been some reason to correlate that as a part of the screening process, that credit reports are being helpful. Otherwise, we wouldn't have such a large number of employers using that tool."

Interesting, but not true, in fact Mr Cohen debunked that whole argument with this:

"Eric Rosenberg with TransUnion said in a hearing in Oregon during sworn testimony that his company had zero statistical evidence to document that employees with bad credit checks are more likely to steal or commit fraud than workers with perfect credit. A study at Eastern Kentucky said the same thing, as highlighted in The Hill in an article this morning about these studies."

This is a clear case of needing to follow the money. These credit ratings agencies aggressively market businesses to use their services. So it's in their best interests to fight laws that would stop employers from using credit checks. If something like this were in place, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian would lose a lot of business. So they lobby the government, grease the palms of politicians and the poor guy who lost his job and fell behind on his mortgage gets screwed.

And for what?

Amy Traub of the Denver Post writes:

"There is little social science research showing a clear link between someone's personal consumer behavior and their performance on the job. In fact, the few studies that exist have found no correlation between personal credit reports and the propensity to commit a crime."

So employers will continue to be able to deny people work that would help them climb out of their financial hole, because of the fact that they're in a financial hole.

And sometimes, the information in a credit report is wrong, in fact consumer studies report that up to four out of five credit reports contain errors.  Of course studies commissioned and underwritten by the three credit agencies dispute that.

This is wrong.

Given that 60% of employers look at credit reports as a factor in who they hire and the fact that I have old medical and school loan debt, the odds of me landing a job are low. Add in the fact that I am a student that has been unemployed for longer than six months and that's a recipe to stay jobless, something I hope to put an end to.

But people like me have little recourse because employers have no obligations to tell you why you did not get hired, so there are literally no protections from this kind of employment discrimination.

We need a solution, because for people in this situation, there is literally no way out.

Sources:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/...

http://www.ncsl.org/...

http://www.govtrack.us/...

http://es.maplight.org/...

http://www.opensecrets.org/...

http://www.opensecrets.org/...

http://www.gpo.gov/...

http://www.denverpost.com/...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

http://www.cbsnews.com/...

http://www.nytimes.com/...

http://money.usnews.com/...

Originally posted to Another Progressive Blog on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:24 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (136+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic, kevinpdx, tofumagoo, divitius, Thousandwatts, KibbutzAmiad, BlackSheep1, Free Jazz at High Noon, Throw The Bums Out, notrouble, shanikka, jdmorg, kurt, a2nite, Prison4Bushco, gloriana, blueoasis, radical simplicity, MindRayge, rlb, mph2005, shypuffadder, DRo, jadt65, SharonColeman, hnichols, Ohkwai, Illinois IRV, Nulwee, Uosdwis, skillet, Moody Loner, Liberal Thinking, postmodernista, Pete Cortez, ybruti, smrichmond, stratdan, Odysseus, venger, MKinTN, zerelda, Tool, enufisenuf, CyberDem, Mistral Wind, Alma, Senor Unoball, ladypockt, ScienceMom, wxorknot, irate, StrayCat, inHI, PSzymeczek, ksh01, Jbearlaw, FloridaSNMOM, jabney, snoopydawg, prettygirlxoxoxo, elfling, NBBooks, trueblueliberal, Fluffi Wan, susakinovember, Bill Roberts, Lily O Lady, SteelerGrrl, winsock, RUNDOWN, Joe Bob, lineatus, eztempo, statsone, OleHippieChick, La Gitane, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Noor B, barbwires, vagabundoloco, TexDemAtty, Avilyn, DruidQueen, Bear, Amor Y Risa, duckhunter, doingbusinessas, antirove, Betterthansoap, WI Deadhead, Carlo, asterkitty, Crider, RockyMtnLib, mariva, Angie in WA State, NoMoreLies, llywrch, Teiresias70, LamontCranston, ceebee7, milkbone, Wood Dragon, karmsy, Yo Bubba, bablhous, NGUinBuffalo, phree, shortgirl, pcl07, wildweasels, TacoPie, Larsstephens, MidwestTreeHugger, Late Again, splashy, Kitsap River, wolf advocate, coppercelt, Most Awesome Nana, OregonWetDog, loretta, Oh Mary Oh, tampaedski, papercut, Gorette, arizonablue, JPhurst, ladybug53, redlum jak, ClevelandAttorney, yella dawg, ramara, artmartin, Einsteinia
  •  AnotherProgressive - do you know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee, ManhattanMan

    if in the states that don't allow potential employers to use credit reports is that prohibition universal or can they obtain a credit report with the permission of the applicant?

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:30:57 PM PST

    •  So, what, the employer asks, the applicant refuses (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, shypuffadder, DRo, eztempo, NoMoreLies

      and the employer just moves on?What would be the point of a law like that?

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:46:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Credit is different. (20+ / 0-)

        Anti-discrimination laws are usually hard to enforce. But this one would be pretty easy. Just forbid employers from running credit checks and forbid credit agencies from providing info to employers.

        If an employer asks, just the asking would be subject to a fine.

        Big and medium-sized employers would obey the law. They don't need the EEOC hassle.

        •  If there is a law (3+ / 0-)

          there will be a way, mostly like paid for, to get around it. In this case I could easily see Temp agencies from overseas getting the credit reports and passing them on to their local office if they even have them. There would be companies that offer a financial profile of prospects after an amendment passes that a certain class of companies would be able to grab and update all credit profiles for the rapid employment of qualified candidates.

          Which of course is all BS, but it would be another one of those follow the money and avoid the "spirit and the Intent " of the law by saying "it doesn't say we can't do this" .

          Finally we get to the matter of enforcement. Ever since the previous administration outsourced law enforcement to the puppet master of a real-estate lawyer and this administration outsourced law enforcement to the white collar criminal defense  firm of Covington and Burling, the actual enforcement of laws on the books where people and organizations have clear and convincing proof  of laws being violated, not secretly but IN-OUR-FACES, beyond any reasonable doubt with nothing done - with the possible exception of  another   nauseating speech or paper by elected officials, political supporters and their appointees of why these laws can't be enforced at-this-timeTM  because if we did;  something-awful-will-happen TM.

          Which is exactly why Democrats need to face the fact that calling for new laws when old ones aren't enforced is useless. Although one can see why people are calling for new laws as they may not be aware that laws are already available to stop the behavior in question but haven't ever been enforced or it was once tried by a district attorney who is now working the midnight shift as a rent-a-cop for a North Hampton billionaire who broke the law in the first place.

          Obviously this applies to all laws. But I'm hopeful that people will see the futility of calling for new laws for a specific problem if 1. they haven't checked to see if laws on the books are already there and 2.  If they haven't already experienced the futility of fighting for a law, seen it pass and then digitally shelved in the  never-ever-use-digital file .

          There is a very fundamental issue here that has to be addressed  before a There should be a Law" diary comes out. We have lost our law enforcement mechanism that is supposed to work for us, not against us, in anything that could represent boffo profits for those who intentionally break the law.

          •  Perhaps allow a private right of action with (6+ / 0-)

            statutory damages large enough (such as a certain percentage of income/profits rather than a fixed amount) to actually hurt?

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:03:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Dburn - I think the discussion is about (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Angie in WA State, Dburn

            state laws, but your point is a good one and certainly relevant to the call for national legislation on this topic. I have no idea how these restrictions are enforced on a state specific basis and how someone proves their case? I don't know if the state laws make it a violation for a credit agency to provide a report or if the law only restricts potential employers from obtaining one or what the penalties might be.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:04:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  How many times have we seen state laws (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib

              turned to rubble by Federal laws and agreements. The most egregious, which coincidentally enough, was the 49 state agreement on the mortgage fraud that swept the nation that was pushed at the federal level.

              Lets not forget either about the voice vote in congress to pass a law to hold the banks harmless nationwide that was caught by bloggers as it made it's way over to the White House for signature. A Gdamn voice vote, with no record , made in the dead of night. If that doesn't tell us how corrupt that congress is and can get, nothing will. State laws are like a flimsy door to a determined association or corporation that owns congress. Pass a federal law to override and it's all but gone.

              One small anecdote VC, I recall when my State's anti-telemarketing law was unusually effective. It was undermined by a federal law which created the 30 degrees of separation so biz could continue as usual;  i.e. "We do business with a company that is a subsidiary of a partner company of another partner company that happens to be a partner with us. That's why your name came up  as a prime prospect for Electric Cigarettes and milk by products along with complimentary anti-depressants."

          •  Make it illegal to even do a credit search. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nyerd

            When somebody checks the credit of a person it shows up on their credit report, or should show up. If a temp agency, or real company that contributes to society, checks a person's credit score fine them. Don't make it a small fine; make it a fine large enough so that if they do it a few times they are out of business.

    •  From my research (13+ / 0-)

      the laws prevent employers from asking for your credit report to use as a basis for hiring purposes, except for jobs that deal with direct handling of finances.

      They of course vary for every state.

      That said I don't see why they couldn't pull it if you give them permission to do so.

      The big difference here is that in the states that don't have these laws is that if you don't give them permission on the application to pull your report they are then able to throw out your application based solely on that.

      These laws prevent that but don't actually stop you from voluntarily furnishing your report.

      Hope that answers your questions.

    •  Built into the law, it allows without expressed... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noor B, bronte17, ClevelandAttorney

      ... permission anyone you are seeking CREDIT, INSURANCE, or EMPLOYMENT from, to obtain your credit history. The act of applying for credit, insurance or employment is regarded as your giving permission. At least that is what I think is the situation.

      At least under Federal law.... the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

      •  Yes, was going to say FCRA (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Jester

        is a consumer act. Used because of that "Employment reasons" I believe expressly says.

        But they must gain your permission. Don't know state to state.

        •  And if you refuse (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Jester

          To give that permission there is no protection in the states that don't have these laws in place from keeping the employer from throwing out your application.

          I support taking that off the application entirely unless it's a job in finance where it's actually applicable.

      •  Many years ago (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnotherProgressive, The Jester

        when I was a couple of years post-bankruptcy and foreclosure (my personal economic disaster came years before the national one) I was filling out an application to work at Target.  This was done on a computer, and included a test of some sort.  At the very end, there was a permission form for a credit check without which the application would not be considered.  I got up and left.  I thought the purpose of looking for a job was to be able to have money to improve things like credit.

        I was furious at the time, and still don't understand what on earth my credit history had to do with my ability to work in retail - it may even have been a seasonal temporary job, I think.

        Does privacy even exist any more?

        Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

        by ramara on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:44:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  All they need (4+ / 0-)

      is your social security number. See my longer post below on the reports I obtained for potential renters when I was a landlord. Extremely detailed information is easily available nowadays.

  •  Heck (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, DRo, Nulwee, Odysseus, StrayCat

    Costco goes down a list of public assistance, INCLUDING food stamps, and ask if you have been on any of them. My guess is it is just best to answer NO, and if that is a lie, cross your fingers they don't check or find out. And what SUCKS is Costco is to be a "Blue" company.

    Oh, look.....I get a tagline. I better not waste it. I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    by sd4david on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:56:53 PM PST

  •  At least in "Right to Work " states (and maybe (10+ / 0-)

    even in the rest, I'm not sure) persons can be hired on a 90 day probationary status, and terminated within that period at will. Hire people, give them a chance to prove themselves (while taking whatever "security" precautions seem approriate) and if they pass the test, let them stay.

    Firing 90% of the HR Department would be a good start to getting the long term unemployed back to work. Typically HR works hardest at looking for ways to justify HR jobs.

    There is no magic formula for having a good workforce. Commonly, layoffs are as much about bad management decisions as about anything else, but who ends up paying the price?

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:58:51 PM PST

    •  Right to work? (5+ / 0-)

      There's no need for a probationary period in a Right to Work State.  Employees can be terminated at any time for any and no reason.  Probationary periods are typically used in non-Right to Work states to give the employer a chance to fire a new hire for no reason during the first few months of employment when they would otherwise need to have a reason for the discharge.

      [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

      by rabel on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:35:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right to Work has NOTHING to do with at-will (0+ / 0-)

        employment.

        "Right to work" laws bar closed union shops.  Those laws are bad because they weaken unions by cutting off much of the financial support if all workers don't join, yet the union must bargain on their behalf.

        "At-will" employment applies to ALL jobs that are not part of a contract, including union contracts.  This is regardless of state.  An employer can let go of an employee for any reason, unless that person is part of a protected class, and the employee can leave the employer for any reason.

        That's because both sides are not covered by a contract.

    •  From personal experience it's true in every state; (4+ / 0-)

      probationary periods are normal in every business now.  I've never figured out the difference between "right to work" states and the others except that it's harder to unionize.

  •  I do know that with the prolonged unemployment, (12+ / 0-)

    the mortgage crisis that has been exacerbated by long term  unemployment, and the lack of insurance that leads to "slow pay" or "no pay", employers are seeing an overall lowering of the average credit rating.
    Butchered credit scores are prevalent and not uncommon.
    The old "lack of financial responsibility" mantra that  low credit rating has decreased in importance.
    Though there are those "cream skimming" employers picking up folks momentarily unemployed whose credit hadn't been affected.

    Long term unemployment must be masked by "free lance" employment etc; blatant unemployment is seen as a lack of effort.

    Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21<> Bring the Troops Home Yesterday

    by Thousandwatts on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:05:53 PM PST

  •  I've never had a credit card or a mortgage. (13+ / 0-)

    Never bought anything I couldn't afford. Not big on the whole debt-for-junk thing.  Clearly I'm an irresponsible, untrustworthy employee.

    "I never heard a corpse ask how it got so cold." - Richard, The Lion in Winter

    by divitius on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 08:16:40 PM PST

    •  I know what you mean. (13+ / 0-)

      This happened to my husband and I.

      We paid cash for 2 cars. The 3rd we needed to finance and couldn't find anyone to give us a decent interest rate because we didn't have enough history.

      My sister, after a bankruptcy, had no problem at all.

      So sorry this happened to you. :(

      Admit it, you've tried to control things with the power of your mind.

      by magicsister on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:17:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You aren't going to be the one affected (3+ / 0-)

      'Not a lot of credit' isn't going to be a hiring problem for the most part.

      Massive credit card bills, bankruptcy, mortgage default are the things that are going to be red flags.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:50:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crider, Angie in WA State, bronte17

        I have a friend who had no credit information at all in his credit report. He was turned down for a job based on it. Apparently, if you (fraudulently) create a new identity in the only ways available to most people, it looks identical to the report that was pulled on him, and they were a highly security-conscious organization (DOD contractor, although his specific position was not security-clearance) who actually thought foreign agents etc might try to infiltrate them.

        •  I, too have a blank credit report (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          halfpintyogi

          And I consider myself more savvy because I stopped doing the buy-now-pay-later thing. But I'm sure I would appear to be a red herring, misfit, outcast if I ever decided to go corporate.

          "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

          by Crider on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:28:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well, make sure your credit report is accurate (5+ / 0-)

    https://www.annualcreditreport.com/.... Has sll three agency reports for free.

    You can order all three at once. Or you can order one. If you see mistakes, some experts advise tyat you assume they're on all three reports and send correction letters to all three agencies following the directions.

    Then in 3-4 months, check the next agency. Do the same thing.

    In 3-4 months, order the next one. And continue this pattern forever.  This way, you're vigilant about staying on top of your credit to protect against honest mistakes and fraud.

    When you can afford to, credit/fraud monitoring is something to consider, especially if you get tired of ordering reports yourself.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 01:40:37 AM PST

  •  Outstanding post on a critical issue. Thanks! n/t (9+ / 0-)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:04:47 AM PST

  •  I don't have to (8+ / 0-)

    picture that scenario. Welcome to the last two years of my life.

  •  Catch 22 (13+ / 0-)

    You are poor because you are laid off and can not get a job because you are poor because you do not have a job.

    A while back I seem to remember that the government wanted to eliminate credit scoring as a factor in security clearances, but was subjected to vicious lobbying until they just left things as they were.

    If it is any consolation I am an engineer and was out of work for 16 months despite a degree and a credit score I kept near perfect by paying with my savings.
    Things are tough and will stay that way until we  get the Republicans out of the House,

    We presently have a tax and regulatory structure that makes it extremely profitable for Wall Street to use ridiculously huge leverage (small investment) to take over companies that they do not have the knowledge or the will to operate and grow, simply to milk them for cash flow,  distribute their retained earnings to themselves and have the company take on gigantic debt to pay for its acquisition.  Over 13000 of these deals have been done since the Reagan administration and unless we change things so we tax unrepatriated earnings, reform the carried interest deduction to exclude buyout interest, and have some sort of financial transaction tax to force Wall Street to actually raise money for industry instead for arbitrage games, we will continue to see money robbed from the real economy that produces goods and services and diverted into the pockets of the financial robber barons.

    To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

    by Bluehawk on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:39:34 AM PST

    •  It's quite a vicious (5+ / 0-)

      cycle. and the worst part is you're never really sure if that the reason a potential employer hasn't called.

      And yes the lobbying efforts against these types of laws are gigantic and target the republicans more than anyone.

      We need to kick out the tea party in 2014,but that brings us back to the issue of gerrymandering.

      •  You both just described what I was reading (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnotherProgressive, yella dawg

        In a law review article. The Section is "Vicious Cycle"

         It's good diaries like this raise awareness as I'd not have ever thought I'd read a Law Review Article today (not fun). But clearly a BIG issue and one creating a perpetual classicism.

        From: 91 Iowa L. Rev. 1593 (2005-2006)
        Rethinking the Fair Credit Reporting Act: When Requesting Credit Reports for Employment Purposes Goes Too Far; Gallagher, Kelly

        B. Vicious CYCLE

        In addition to unnecessarily invading employee privacy, hiring policies that exclude individuals with blemishes in their credit history exacerbate the problem of limited access to credit and lack of social mobility faced by racial
        minorities and the chronically poor. For example, racial minorities and individuals living in poor neighborhoods may have limited access to credit due in part to redlining-"the practice of withdrawing credit, banking and insurance services from high-risk, troubled neighborhoods."

        Community activists suggest that "misconceived notions of inner-city risk contribute to minorities being denied financing more than twice as often as white applicants with the same qualifications."9' If an individual is unable to obtain credit cards or financing for a mortgage, the individual may be unable to improve his credit score and therefore may have difficulty obtaining jobs. Without a job, the individual is more likely to default on payment
        obligations and risk further decreasing his credit score.

        Thus, individuals born into racial-minority populations in the United States may strike out before even applying for their first jobs or credit cards, simply because they
        lost the birthplace lottery. Studies have demonstrated a relationship between race and credit history. A 1996 study of lending institutions in the Boston metropolitan area found that racial-minority applicants for home mortgages generally "have less wealth, weaker credit histories, and higher loan-to-value ratios than
        white applicants, and that these disadvantages do account for a large portion of the difference in denial rates" between white and black home mortgage
        applicants.

  •  Still a little hazy on the justification... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk

    ...for making this illegal.  If it's ineffective, it won't remain in use for any length of time.

    Employers have a legitimate reason not to hire someone who's been unemployed: they haven't been practicing their skills as recently as the actively employed.

    Other forms for employment discrimination are banned because of presumed intent to harm said minority specifically.  That doesn't appear to be the case here (No one is acting out of malice against the unemployed)

    •  It's in use (8+ / 0-)

      because of the marketing efforts from the three credit rating agencies towards business.

      And because it's easier for employers to quickly eliminate the hundred of job applications and "skim the cream off the top" if you will.

      Also just because it doesn't work has no bearing on if you can make money selling it. There are plenty of things people buy that are ineffective, look at the diet pill industry lol. It's all about marketing.

      Also what skills, 60% of employers use credit scores for hiring purposes, there is a good many of those are not high skill, especially when Taco bell is the third highest employer in the US. I'm pretty sure Wal-Mart is quite high on the list as well since they employ 1 million Americans, those are low skill jobs that still shut out the long term unemployed.

      Manufacturing is another low skill job too. I can understand pulling a credit report if you want to be a banker (I encourage it actually) but not if you're flipping burgers.

      •  Your business is on the line (0+ / 0-)

        You are hiring for a critical position that could make or break your company (and perhaps dozens of other jobs in the process). You need someone skilled, on-the-ball, and as close to guaranteed not to screw up as possible.

        Your company's future may be riding on this hire.

        Hire the person who has been out of work for a year and went through a medical bankruptcy?

        Or hire the person who has been working for years and has been working effectively at a similar job for years, up until the present?

        Remember, your future employment and those of your employees may rest on the answer.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:00:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Credit ratings have no link (14+ / 0-)

          To whether or not a person will be a good employee.

          One would think the person behind on bills would work even harder and more hours to get caught up.

          Having a good credit rating means nothing, for example I'm sure Jack Abramoff had a shining credit report, and Jeff Skilling too.

          Two extreme examples sure, but valid nonetheless.

          You have to look at their education and skills, as well at least grant them an interview to gauge them in person.

          And besides I'm not arguing for the person with unemployment and bad credit to be handed a job. I'm just arguing that those should be not grounds to immediately shred their applications without giving them a chance.

          •  Re (0+ / 0-)
            And besides I'm not arguing for the person with unemployment and bad credit to be handed a job. I'm just arguing that those should be not grounds to immediately shred their applications without giving them a chance.
            Ah, exactly my point.

            How do you write such a law banning discrimination? How do you differentiate between what you presumably consider legitimate and illegitimate discrimination?

            With race, religion, etc the assumption is that these things have no reasonable impact on someone's employment status.

            However, unemployment status may well have an impact (or it may not). How do you write a law that it's possible to comply with that allows you not to hire people that suck, but disallows you from discriminating against the unemployed?

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:18:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's a good question (5+ / 0-)

              I think they could simply enforce this by forcing employers to take the credit check permission checkbox off of the application (unless it's a job that strictly works with money)

              As for unemployment discrimination, the first step would be to fine companies from putting up job ads that say "Must be currently employed."

              There is a law by Rep Steve Cohen that outlines the way to end these practices, it's in my sources.

            •  Uh... the same way you write any other ND law? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RockyMtnLib, kyril
              How do you write a law that it's possible to comply with that allows you not to hire people that suck, but disallows you from discriminating against the unemployed?
              How do you write a law that it's possible to comply with that allows you not to hire people that suck, but disallows you from discriminating against women? Against black people?

              Or, more to the point, how about against old people? Being old and infirm can be a definite disadvantage in a job. But at the same time, not hiring people just because they're old is obnoxious and illegal. Somehow, the EEOC has successfully made a law that walks that line. (It errs on the side of the employers, but then basically ALL laws do, and it's way better than nothing.)

        •  Or you could look at their resume, talk to their (12+ / 0-)

          past employers, get a writing sample, look at their education history, conduct an interview or three, perform some testing, and do all the other stuff that employer do to find the best candidate. My employer doesn't do credit checks, drug tests or ask about past public assistance but somehow, our organization has not imploded.  

          How did employers ever hire anyone before credit checks?  One can only wonder.  

          •  What a concept! (7+ / 0-)

            I've been unemployed for well over a year. I have tons of excellent references, but no one gets to the point of checking them. I've even asked my references to let me know if any potential employer contacts them. No one has been contacted yet. I've even tried to "mask" my unemployment status by claiming I've been a freelance journalist/publication designer for the employment gap period--not untrue, though I've been paid almost nothing for that work. Have also done some under-the-table landscaping/labor work but at over age 50 and with a very bad back and no health insurance, that's risky (and few will employ me for labor....mostly friends have done so).

        •  Hire the person who really needs a job (9+ / 0-)

          and is motivated to come to work for you and stay with you a long time, or

          hire the person who spends half his workday looking for new, better paying jobs?

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:16:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Super Troopers quote (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus

            "Desperation is a stinky cologne, John."

            It's just an employment fact that most people will prefer people who have other options (just like in romance).

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:44:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I realize, but I've also seen that preference in (5+ / 0-)

              action, and I've been able to scoop up some really amazing talent by not sharing it.

              By contrast, when I worked for a company that had that preference, I sat in a cubicle next to a guy who was poached from a competitor and then gone again 6 months later when he had a better offer.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 01:39:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sure (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elfling

                It's not (always) rational, but there you have it.

                If we were going to pass laws requiring people to be rational in everything they did, well, yeah.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 04:03:33 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  You're not allowed to ask about health (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Miggles

          history. Medical bankruptcy is obviously a way around that.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:18:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  But the scenario you cite doesn't require a (0+ / 0-)

          credit check.  Look at the CV, and if the applicant has up-to-date experience in the area you need, then good.  WTF is the purpose of a credit report for that???  A credit report won't say shit about how well someone operates a forklift in Costco.  A bankruptcy won't say shit about how well that forklift is operated either.  Simply irrelevant.

          •  Of course it's irrelevant. (0+ / 0-)

            to those jobs. But that doesn't mean employers don't use that as a screening tool anyway.

            There is a mentality that many have today that says the poor, long term unemployed, and people with bad credit are lazy and untrustworthy.

            A stigma if you will.

            I don't see why someone who has been out of work 1 year can't drive a hilo at costco, or someone with bad credit for that matter.

            But credit reports are used as a judge of character, trustworthiness and work ethic.

            And they have no place except for high finance.

        •  It's against the law to discriminate because of (0+ / 0-)

          bankruptcy.

          You are just peddling hogwash not supported by the facts.

          It's none of your business what my financial situation is.

      •  Manufacturing is another low skill job too.?? (0+ / 0-)

        When were you last in a manufacturing plant? It's true that we once hired backs, shoulders, legs, arms and sometimes fingers for delicate work, but that's been changed for a long time now.  We hire eyes, ears, and yes heads to plan, operate, program, analyze and fix the machines that manufacture products. Low skill indeed?

        Liberty without justice is impossible; justice without liberty is unbearable.

        by pee dee fire ant on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:24:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. The corporate world is rife with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnotherProgressive

        conventional wisdom practices that are totally ineffective.  They do things like spend tens of millions on management consultants who suggest that they call their employees "associates" or "partners" instead of actually improving the employer/employee environment or increasing productivity.

    •  The corporate world does lots of ineffective (7+ / 0-)

      things simply because of inertia, dint of will, "common sense," and for a host of other (equally irrational) reasons.

      Andy I'm not limiting this to "big" corporations, either. Smaller businesses are just as susceptible to this sort of inertia/"common sense" thing. In some ways more so ("if we want to grow, we ought to emulate the big guys").

      And you and I must have a different understanding of the word "malice." Acting to keep the supply of "skilled candidates" artificially low is a deliberate act, taken to keep wages artificially low and expectations of performance output artificially high. In other words, it's to extract even more lifeblood out of employees and pay even less for it. That's malicious in my book.

    •  Uh... huh. (4+ / 0-)
      If it's ineffective, it won't remain in use for any length of time.
      How long were leeches common medical practice?

      How long has 'Sudafed+', the replacement for Sudafed when that got moved behind the pharmacy counter, been out? When there is a great deal of evidence that it has no effect whatsoever? (And the only evidence that it has any effect orally are some very dubious studies by the manufacturer. It was originally intended as a nasal spray, and was marginally useful even there, but orally it does nothing and everyone in the industry knows it.)

      How long have people been using homeopathic remedies, for that matter?

      There is no 'try and fail' thing here. The company decides that it sounds reasonable, and starts using it. They don't have any embezzlement for a year, and they think 'it must be working'! If they do have embezzlement, they go and look at the credit report and think, 'hm, well, it didn't catch HIM but it might catch the next guy'. Companies can't do double-blind research studies on their employees, so they just try to follow best practices, which currently include, for no reason, credit checks.

    •  There is NO "legitimate" reason (0+ / 0-)

      It's just the employers are too lazy to look at qualifications and simply want to screen the stacks of applications in an easier manner.

  •  Like "Medical Bankruptcy",, (9+ / 0-)

    this is a problem you can't fathom until it happens to you or someone you know.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:33:43 AM PST

  •  Welcome to the Club people.... (10+ / 0-)

    ... excellent diary. This scenario has played out times MILLIONS across our nation over the last few years. It is a problem of such monumental size that it really requires Congress to act to help get people back on track.

    It was Congress's malfeasance that set all these disasters in motion, and it is their responsibility to straighten it out.

    I can't explain the 47% (I thought 42 was the answer to the meaning of the Universe?) who voted for Willard, and I think we all know but for gerrymandering that 200 Republican idiots in Congress would have hit the bricks.

    But somehow the people of fantasy land need to wake up and stand up for their own self interest.

    A guy pistol whips you in an alley for the $10 in your pocket, and you THANK HIM for being there to make sure loser assholes get the beating "they" deserve?

    That is about as close an analogy as I can come up with for how most of the republican voters in this nation think as regards "the rich" and the need to thank, praise and protect the rich's interests over the people's interests.

    Our own government and leaders have put the people into myriad catch-22 situations over employment, insurance, housing, even food. If they don't straighten up and fly right, ultimately it will hit a tipping point and woe unto those standing around when the "American Spring" happens. What do you think that same 47% will do with all their guns when they finally wake up and realize who's been fucking them in the ass for 30 years?

  •  Thanks for raising the whole issue (6+ / 0-)

    ...of unemployment discrimination.

    The so-called "labor market" is seriously broken, and all employers are complaining about not being able to find "good workers".

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:01:39 AM PST

  •  Credit reports (8+ / 0-)

    Potential employers may not be able to see credit scores, but I'll tell you what they CAN see.

    When I had some rental properties and decided to rent them out on my own and not pay a property manager, I signed up with one of those online credit check companies to check out potential renters. I was surprised at the level of detail I could see on these people's finances.

    On each report, there was a grid showing when they had paid every bill within the last 6 months--power, phone, water, rent or mortgage, in addition to any credit cards and loans. If paid on time, the square was green; 1-30 days late, it was yellow; over 30 days late, it was red.

    So I knew before I dealt with someone if they had paid even a single utility bill more than 1 day late within the past 6 months. And the colors on the grid made it easy to see at a glance--a bunch of red squares and their application went right in the trash without further consideration. Even with a bunch of yellow squares (which it would be if a bill was even 1 day late) compared to other applicants that were all green--who would you choose?

    Anyway, this information was easily obtainable for me, a private citizen, for only $25 for every potential rental applicant, so I'm sure those who are hiring based on credit records are looking at this same kind of thing, not just those more general overviews you get from the three major credit agencies.

  •  Rec button doesn't work on this browser (2+ / 0-)

    So I hereby rec this diary 1000X.

    The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

    by ozsea1 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:40:56 AM PST

  •  Queue up the corporatist concern trolls in 3..2.. (5+ / 0-)

    oooop, too late.

    ( Names redacted to protect the guilty )

    I could live with very specific carveouts for personnel, banking, cashiers.

    That's it. That's all.

    The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

    by ozsea1 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:45:14 AM PST

  •  Ironically, the ad at the top of my page (0+ / 0-)

    right now is for "All 3 Credit Scores--Free".  Go figure.

    Liberty without justice is impossible; justice without liberty is unbearable.

    by pee dee fire ant on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:03:12 AM PST

    •  Use Do Not Track Plus (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnotherProgressive

      That is what I have with the Google browser and I no longer get ads based on keywords or searches or sites that I have visited.
      Before Do Not Track, I'd get the same thing. If I'd been reading this great article, I would also have ads about credit score BS.

  •  In the Same Boat (10+ / 0-)

    Great piece and research. It's good to hear someone else validate your experience on occasion, since those who haven't experienced this have no clue how bad it is.

    I have two degrees, over 20 years of experience, and was laid off 19 months ago. Have several friends who are long-term unemployed as well, and another who managed to find a job and took a 40% pay cut. I don't even bother anymore with organizations that say they're doing a credit check. I'm also, very clearly, experiencing discrimination based on age. Think you can ever prove that? Right. I have dozens of stories at this point that illustrate this. Just the lack of common courtesy or professionalism directed at the unemployed now is astounding. I actually drove all the way to Colorado from Vermont for a job interview (and to spend a few weeks with a friend and job hunt some more) for a specific position for which I was extremely qualified. At the end of the interview they asked if I was interested in a position that was opening 4 months later....one for which I was not, at all, qualified. They'd had an inside candidate all along. Have experienced this several times, where I've checked a web site to see who was hired for a position for which I was interviewed and found out that they hired an ex-employee or board member.

    I'm surprised at the number of comments on here that don't focus on the clear, systemic problem, but imply that the unemployed person is, somehow, doing something wrong. We live in a country where the powerful have an agenda of creating a permanent underclass as well as a class of "untouchables," so to speak. They have ZERO concern for such people because so many of the 1% are psychopathic and view such individuals as losers or collateral damage. Those in this winless situation need some stronger advocates and some way to feel empowered to fight for some changes, but we're kept so desperate by our circumstances and feeling like we're to blame (even by friends and families) that we can't.

    And what's the next point of discrimination we're likely to see...and is happening already to some degree? How about the wonderful "social" media? How many employers are checking these and making decisions on interviewing or hiring people based on...oh, how about your political views? And how many will respond to this by saying "it's your responsibility to not put anything questionable on your FaceBook site."? How do you know what is a potential negative in terms of employment and to whom? Everything you say is offensive to someone, somewhere. And yes, some potential employers view it as a negative if you aren't participating in that "world" of social media.

    •  Thank you.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      halfpintyogi, NoMoreLies, ceebee7

      and I'm sorry you've also had to experience this. I hear so many things about age discrimination too, people being run out of their jobs at 50+ years of age to be replaced by someone much younger, and of course they cannot collect SS until at least 62 (at a significant penalty)

      You're also correct about the large amount of blame thrown around for people who are unemployed. They still think it's the 90's or something when people were tripping over jobs. They seem to forget all of the outsourcing as well as the recession where so many jobs were lost. Yet still we blame the victim.

      Ah the Facebook screening, yeah I know about that now too. Funny how it's your Facebook but employers expect you to not post what you want on it anymore.

      I know from my Facebook that I'll never get a corporate job, I have too many political posts including my own writing that have been posted there. They would take one look and immediately place my app in the circular file.

      Great response, and thanks for reading and commenting.

      •  I've never understood why employees (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Throw The Bums Out

        allow employers to see their FB accounts.

        Why not just say you don't have one?  Or make it inaccessable to anyone w/o permission?

        Also don't understand employees who complain about employers who don't allow FB usage while at work.

        "Get off this estate." "What for?" "Because it’s mine." "Where did you get it?" "From my father." "Where did he get it?" "From his father." "And where did he get it?" "He fought for it." "Well, I’ll fight you for it." - Carl Sandburg

        by ceebee7 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:09:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Any employee who uses FB at work, even if it (0+ / 0-)

          is on their own phone (but employer's wifi) is an idiot.  Perhaps they haven't heard of sslstrip (and arpspoof) which makes it trivial to get anyone's Facebook credentials and log in as them even without their password.  Hell, there is even an Android app that lets anyone get facebook logins (actually, authentication tokens/cookies) with just one click if they have a rooted phone.  The only "safe" way is to use your own device and your own cellular connection (no wifi!).

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:06:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Credit Checks Are Employment Discrimination (4+ / 0-)

    and need to be stopped - hopefully by Federal legislation. The same goes for requirements that only "currently employed" people can apply for a job. Just because someone is unemployed for a long time doesn't mean they are "lazy" or "unqualified." To me, it means the unemployed are a victim of the economy's lackluster growth. Unfortunately, given the makeup of the House, individual states will probably have to pass legislation to outlaw this type of discrimination. Don't Rethugs who vote against bills like H.R. 3149 realize that if we make it harder for the long term unemployed to obtain employment, it will only INCREASE the need for social safety net/government assistance programs that they so despise?? Oops, I keep forgetting I'm talking about Republicans - which means they are stupid.

    •  Many of us are just the surplus population. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State, Yo Bubba

      Remember the Republican debate where the question about someone being left to die if they don't have health insurance to cover their condition brought rowsing cheers from a section of the audience?

      Some people really do think that "work or starve to death" is the best policy.

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:58:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think they should be banned for renting, too (0+ / 0-)

      It's the same thing.  How is anybody ever to get on his or her feet if he or she cannot find a place to live?

      Credit checks were designed for mortgage approvals; they should be restricted ONLY to that.

  •  Liens and judgments . . . (0+ / 0-)

    Hoping to shed a little more light on this interesting topic, in my experience, employers that ask to check an applicant's financials or background are looking for something specific.   "Americans with bad credit" needs to be defined.  Good employers know the same thing that the diary says.  Low credit scores, a large amount of debt aren't red flags.  If they check, they're looking for something more acute like liens and/or judgments.  Why? Sometimes they're accompanied by legal problems if back taxes are involved, or other issues like non-payment of child support or spousal support.  Sometimes these issues are also accompanied by a bankruptcy but I don't know of employers who would disqualify a candidate for the bankruptcy alone.  In the field of finance there are different standards and disclosure requirements but even there the standards can be pretty loose.  

    All that said, it doesn't negate the diarist's points and with the economic situation of the past few years, jobseekers should be protected from discrimination that disqualifies them from hiring.  I don't see how it would be enforced so prospective employers should only have access to a very limited amount of information.   They don't need to know an applicant's entire credit history.  

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

    by leftreborn on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 01:11:47 PM PST

    •  How to enforce it: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnotherProgressive

      conduct frequent, random audits.

      Where there's a will, there's a way. Companies caught employment anti-discrimination laws are fined heavily and individuals within those companies found to be responsible do hard time.

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 04:01:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnotherProgressive

        companies caught violating employment anti-discrimination laws.

        While I'm at it: if frequent, random, unannounced audits of hiring practices were the norm, we would still have the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" intact in that the onus would be on the enforcement agencies to find, collect and produce the evidence.

        At the same time it can create a reality where employers have it in the back of their heads that anything they do that relates to screening employment candidates is subject to intense scrutiny.

        Remember the studies that Tim Wise points to often that showed that even after everything else is equal or the differences in qualifications are negligible, those with "black sounding" names were 50% less likely to be called back for an interview than those with "white sounding" names? That  was great for the social science used to show that institutional racism is still rampant, but if this was done on actual employers, the findings should have led to many of these employers getting a visit from EEOC enforcement officials and being forced to explain themselves to those officials.

        liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

        by RockyMtnLib on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 04:29:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great example. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RockyMtnLib
          Remember the studies that Tim Wise points to often that showed that even after everything else is equal or the differences in qualifications are negligible, those with "black sounding" names were 50% less likely to be called back for an interview than those with "white sounding" names?
          That study is a great example of not only hiring bias, but institutional racism. More often than not minorities are the ones who suffer from bad credit, although since the recession it's become a much more broad problem.

          Either way it hits the poor hard, which happen to be a majority black and latino.  

          •  Absolutely. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AnotherProgressive

            My larger point, and I'll probably get some push-back from a few here, but even with the legal principle of innocent until proven guilty, employers should be forced to demonstrate periodically that they're not up to any shenanigans.

            I despise the adage "if you're doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide" - especially when it is used in support of gross 4th Amendment violations, but in this particular case I believe the state has a compelling interest to use that as an operating principle when dealing with employers who for far too long have had nearly unchecked power to put and keep people in a cycle of struggle.

            liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

            by RockyMtnLib on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 04:42:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  It's not their business, and it's not landlords' (0+ / 0-)

      either.

      I will repeat it again:  Credit checks were designed ONLY for qualifications for home mortgages.  They have been abused for a variety of reasons, and it needs to stop because of the widespread discrimination against the poor.

  •  Employment discrimination is incredibly (0+ / 0-)

    difficult to prove during the hiring process... thanks in part to Repubs having their fingerprints all over the laws that were passed... But it would be difficult anyway...  all kinds of difficult "intents" to prove.  It's even hard to prove when an "older" worker is terminated and a "younger" one installed in his/her place.  But at the point of hiring, almost impossible.  All they have to say is "didn't seem like a good fit..."  At least that's what I've been getting, after being non-hired for 25+ jobs for which I was abundantly qualified.  

    "Get off this estate." "What for?" "Because it’s mine." "Where did you get it?" "From my father." "Where did he get it?" "From his father." "And where did he get it?" "He fought for it." "Well, I’ll fight you for it." - Carl Sandburg

    by ceebee7 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:16:40 PM PST

  •  May be too far down to help, but one tip I have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yella dawg

    Is to always put 'self employed' throughout your job history if there are any gaps in employment. Pick something you have been or can reasonably be paid for, like painting, landscaping, preferrably something that relates somehow to the job you're applying for. Don't think of it as 'lying', think of it as necessary to avoid the false perception that you are lazy or unqualified.

    It's one of the ways employers discriminate against candidates. They look at gaps in work as 'non-hireability' as though no one wanting you means that you weren't qualified. This is plainly bullshit, of course, but employers have that luxury to treat workers like shit these days.

  •  Long ago back in 1999..... (0+ / 0-)

    "A bill introduced in 2009 called "H.R. 3149 Equal Employment for All Act" was the first attempt at stopping people from being discriminated against because of their credit. "

    Credit worthiness is a valid criteria for job applications.  Think back to 1999 things were going wellish etc etc. If I wanted to get a military clearance one of the things they would do is to check your financial history. Yes for shady money transfers but also for financial hardships. If you are having significant financial problems, for various reasons you are more easily manipulated. This is also applicable to the private sector as well....

    Yes employers should obviously consider today's reality but saying that employers should be banned from using this information is also silly.

  •  Wow...does this ring true . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gorette, AnotherProgressive

    The only thing I could add to your diary is, "Wife developed brain cancer and lost her health insurance".

    It's been rough.

  •  Thinking of a different way (0+ / 0-)

    It is interesting. Due to Laws and Ct decisions I recall if you were employed this might encourage you to file bankruptcy.

    That is IIRC the bankruptcy Code prohibits the Government in hiring or retaining in bankruptcy or who were. The next provision only in retaining. So if you are in foreclosure and facing you could be laid off in private sector. You probably ironically it would seem (speak to a bankruptcy attorney not me) be best off to keep your job by filing for bankruptcy so they cannot fire you.

    Govt- Hiring and Retention Cannot Discrim based on Bruptcy

    Private- only Retention

    Hopefully I make sense I woke up late. I think I am right. Strange.

  •  Happened to me. After health problems caused (2+ / 0-)

    me to default and could not go bankrupt I was never able to get a job though for many years tried.

    Since I have a degree and good character and experience I believe this is the reason why.

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:33:04 AM PST

    •  That really doesn't sound right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnotherProgressive

      I personally got into law for good reasons. Things like that that keep me curious.

      I saw this diary and posts like this and wondered a bit. If it were more recent I'd look more as there are no cites, but I found this through a Law Review article:

      Checking Credit WHEN IT'S DUE.  Security Management - June 1, 2000 Frederick G. Giles. I downloaded the entirety on Amazon. But this part makes me wonder what they are referring to "law wise".

      This is a tale of two job candidates. They were the best of candidates. One of them, however, was later revealed to be, if not the worst of credit risks, at least a troublesome sort. They both sought a senior accountant position. The first (we'll call him Smith) had 15 years of accounting experience. He was also a graduate of Harvard and was the past president of a gional accounting trade association. The second (whom we'll call Jones) was a graduate of a small college in the Midwest who had been a practicing accountant for only three years. Based on preliminary interviews and paper credentials, the company planned to hire Smith as long as nothing showed up in the routine background check. Then the preemployment investigation discovered that, although he had a mostly clean credit record, Smith had gone through a bad period in 1998 when he missed several mortgage payments and had run up high credit card bills. Since the position was one that would entail the handling of company funds, management felt that cre dit history was highly relevant. Smith's checkered financial past raised serious doubts about his suitability, so management took what it deemed to be the safest course of action--it gave the job to Jones.

      WHAT THE COMPANY DID NOT REALIZE was that Smith's missed payments came the same year that his wife was terminally ill with cancer. The family's medical bills had mounted so high that it was unable to meet some of its other financial obligations. The credit report had not explained why these payments were late--it had simply provided the raw data. Had this been a real case, the company's "safest course" could have landed it in court facing litigation if Smith had decided to take legal action against it.

      . . .  companies are often ignorant of the limitations on their use. The result is that hiring practices may be creating potentially costly problems down the road.

      Various court cases, federal law, and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opinions have established a series of precedents that govern when a credit report can and cannot be used to deny someone employment. While companies need to consult legal counsel about their own circumstances, in general, it is best if a company does not use credit reports to determine whether a job candidate should be hired. In cases where it is clear that these reports provide an indispensable window on a person's potential honesty and integrity, credit histories should be viewed only as the first step in a broader investigation that identifies the reasons why someone might have bad credit.

      I don't know what those FTC, laws, and precedents are, but I find it problematic (or would) if someone came to my office who was in sales for 20 years, graduated from Stern Biz school at NYU, and was denied a job they were assured because 5 years ago they were on the verge of bankruptcy due to medical bills.

      Now take away the connection to money management, I would really wonder even if it was an extension of law as it is against public policy (how you carved out exceptions to employment at will) it would see to not hire individuals for handling funds a certain way when faced with, death?

      I am sure regardless of legislature this will be pushed. There are so many issues (not to mention the FCRA is not an employment act).

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