The purpose of health insurance is to grant access to health care. If left to their own devices, however, health insurance companies refuse to provide insurance to people with pre-existing medical conditions, so the sick would stay sick while the healthy enjoyed safeguards against serious illness. Therefore, recently enacted laws have attempted to remedy this issue, so that the people who need medical treatment and preventive care the most are not denied access to it. Similarly, wouldn’t it be unfair if companies refused to hire employees who had experienced financial hardship? Would people apply for jobs if they did not need money? When employers use a job applicant’s credit history as a factor in hiring decisions, it is just one of the many ways that being poor is expensive. In most cases, refusing to hire a job candidate because of their credit history is employment discrimination, as is taking an adverse action against a current employee based on the employee’s credit report. To find out more, contact the Irvine credit reporting and employment lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP.
How the Fair Credit Reporting Act Works in Irvine
The money that you spend, borrow, and repay is, for the most part, a confidential matter. Think about all the oversharing that goes on all over social media, while people are conspicuously silent about the specifics of their finances. People do not seem to mind if the whole world knows about their eating habits, their relationship troubles, and their children’s milestones and struggles, but when someone asks you too many questions about your money, it feels like an invasion of privacy. Likewise, if you tell someone the true extent of your debts, and they tell someone else, it feels like a betrayal. Likewise, consider that, during the probate of a deceased person’s estate, many details about the decedent’s assets and debts are often a complete surprise to the decedent’s close relatives.
The law respects your right to privacy about your debts, debt repayment, and creditworthiness. Consider that laws against creditor harassment prohibit creditors from contacting you at work because doing this would embarrass you in front of your coworkers and might even undermine your credibility with your employer. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that indicates the situations in which credit bureaus are allowed to reveal your credit history to third parties. The FCRA requires credit bureaus to ensure that the information on your credit report is accurate and to update the credit report frequently. This way, your credit report reflects the most recent payments you have made toward your debts. Your credit report must not display debts from more than seven years ago or bankruptcy filings from more than 10 years ago.
What Does Credit Reporting Have to Do With Employment Discrimination in Irvine?
Lenders are not the only parties who are sometimes allowed to access your credit report. Credit reporting is often an element of background checks for job candidates and people seeking to rent an apartment. Employers should not access your credit report unless they have a reason to do so. It is employment discrimination if an employer or prospective employer assumes the worst about you because of your credit history, specifically because of your outstanding debts or because of a previous bankruptcy filing. Employers might assume, probably incorrectly, that people experiencing financial hardship are irresponsible with money and therefore not trustworthy for positions of employment that involve making financial decisions. They might even assume that people with a heavy debt burden will be tempted to steal or embezzle money from their employers. Of course, if an employer takes adverse action against you because of your credit history, or if a prospective employer refuses to hire you after seeing your credit report, it is employment discrimination, and you should contact the Irvine employment discrimination lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP.
When Does California Law Allow Employers to Access Your Credit Report During a Background Check?
Federal and state laws require the employer to notify you early in the application process if they plan to conduct a credit report check as part of your pre-employment screening. If the employer decides not to hire you after reading your credit report, they must send you another notice, explaining their reasons.
According to California law, for most jobs, your credit history is none of your employer’s business. If you are applying for a job as a line cook at a restaurant, it is not your employer’s business whether you bought your house in cash or whether you have an adjustable rate mortgage with a balloon payment due next month. In fact, California law indicates specific jobs where the employer may use the applicant’s credit history as a factor in hiring decisions; for any other job, prospective employers do not have the right to see your credit report. These are the types of positions where California law allows employers to base decisions on applicants’ credit history:
- Law enforcement jobs, including peace officers
- Managerial jobs
- Jobs where the employee would have more access to customers’ financial information than a retail clerk processing credit cards would have, such as bank tellers and human resources employees
- Jobs with the Department of Justice
- Jobs where the employee will have access to confidential information
- Jobs where the employee will have access to more than $10,000 in a workday
If you think that your employer’s request to access your credit report is unfair, or that the employer made the wrong decision after seeing your credit report, contact the Irvine employment lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP.
Contact HKM Employment Attorneys, LLP About Credit Reporting and Employment in Irvine
Credit reporting and employment discrimination have a lot more to do with each other than you might think. HKM Employment Attorneys, LLP can help you ensure that your employer does not unfairly access your credit history or use it to make discriminating decisions against you. Contact the employment lawyers at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in Irvine, California to set up a consultation.