OMAHA, NE – Elizabeth Warren, who has emerged as a strong voice for true Progressives in America, has done it again by introducing legislation that would ban credit checks on job applicants. It is about damn time! The legislation is called the Equal Employment For All Act and was co-authored with 6 other Senators; Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). And why not? Why should an unemployed American, who is deep in debt, be rejected for a job that would clean up the very credit that is preventing them from getting that job? Especially when Wall Street gets away with destroying a global economy, why punish the American worker and consumer for something that isn’t entirely in their control? Senator Warren states in her press release, “A bad credit rating is far more often the result of unexpected medical costs, unemployment, economic downturns, or other bad breaks than it is a reflection on an individual’s character or abilities.” Warren 12/17/2013
Research in the past has shown credit reports to be increasingly inaccurate, why should your employment be dependent on something with a high potential to be erroneous? The press release from Warren’s office mentioned a Federal Trade Commission study that revealed many Americans, 1 in 5, had errors in their credit reports. They were errors significant enough that they affect the amount a consumer will pay for a car loan, insurance and even affect jobs they could qualify for, “Overall, the congressionally mandated study on credit report accuracy found that one in five consumers had an error on at least one of their three credit reports.” FTC 02/11/2013
The FTC report also found: “One in four consumers identified errors on their credit reports that might affect their credit scores. One in five consumers had an error that was corrected by a credit reporting agency (CRA) after it was disputed, on at least one of their three credit reports. Four out of five consumers who filed disputes experienced some modification to their credit report. Slightly more than one in 10 consumers saw a change in their credit score after the CRAs modified errors on their credit report. Approximately one in 20 consumers had a maximum score change of more than 25 points and only one in 250 consumers had a maximum score change of more than 100 points.” FTC 02/11/2013
According to Senator Warren’s Senate press release, over 40 organizations have already endorsed the new legislation. Here is the list from Warren’s Senate Press Release: “9to5, AFGE Women’s and Fair Practices Departments, American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Relations (AFL-CIO), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Americans for Financial Reform, Asian American Justice Center, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Black Women’s Roundtable, Campaign for Community Change, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Consumer Action, Dēmos, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), Disability Rights Legal Center, Job Opportunities Task Force, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Legal Action Center, MFY Legal Services, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Association of Consumer Advocates, National Black Justice Coalition, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients), National Council of La Raza, National Council on Independent Living, National Employment Law Project, National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), National Fair Housing Alliance, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Organization for Women, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, National Workrights Institute, Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP), New York Legal Assistance Group, PolicyLink, Poverty and Race Research Action Council, Public Citizen, Public Justice Center, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and U.S. PIRG.”
Progressive Oasis will keep you updated on the journey of this new and very important bill.
Warren Introduces Legislation Prohibiting Job Applicant Credit Checks http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/17/elizabeth-warren-credit-checks_n_4462810.html
Warren Senate Press Release Equal Employment For All Act http://www.warren.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=305
FTC reveals errors in credit reports of consumers http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2013/02/ftc-study-five-percent-consumers-had-errors-their-credit-reports