July 12, 2020

The Equal Employment for All Act – brought to you by Tennessee Representative Steve Cohen

Finding a job in this economy can be very difficult to say the least; however, some employers use background and credit checks that can make it seem impossible. Approximately forty-three percent of companies use credit checks as a prerequisite to employment. The credit checks are used for various reasons, including attempting to determine if a person has a propensity to steal because of debt, etc. Despite this reasoning, however, many studies conducted by various unbiased groups have found that a person’s credit history does not predict job performance.

In an effort to stymie the use of credit checks, especially in this difficult economy and while unemployment rates are high, Tennessee

Tennessee Representative Steve Cohen

Tennessee Representative Steve Cohen

Representative Steve Cohen has introduced HR 3149, The Equal Employment for All Act, which would help individuals, especially students, recent college graduates, low-income families, and senior citizens, to build or rebuild their credit by obtaining a job. According to Representative Cohen, one-third of individuals making less than $45,000 a year have poor credit scores due to bankruptcy, foreclosure, loan delinquency, divorce, medical debt, or unemployment. Their credit score can continue to be adversely affected the longer they remain out of a job, and companies using a credit investigation to determine whether to hire them adds to their problems.

The Equal Employment for All Act would prohibit employers from using an individual’s credit check as part of the hiring or firing process, unless the job involves national security, FDIC clearance, or significant financial responsibility – positions such as loan officers, bank managers, or financial officers. Representative Cohen has noted that approximately forty-six other House Representative colleagues have endorsed the Equal Employment Bill. He has stated that the purpose of the Bill is to prevent the loss of job opportunities for people who need them the most and to stop a hiring trend that will only hurt those who need the employment the most. In these difficult economic times, people are continuing to struggle with debt and many are attempting to work their way out of it. This Equal Employment Bill represents a tangible, simple, and immediate action that can be taken to provide unemployed individuals an opportunity to work their way out of debt without some of the roadblocks along the way.