The economy of the last few years has left many people in Oregon out of work and looking for new jobs. Unfortunately, the lack of jobs has also left many with medical debt and credit card debt that they cannot pay, and many credit reports may have been damaged because debtors are unable to make payments on financial obligations. Although many debtors are unable to pay their bills, this does not necessarily make them any less qualified to perform a job.
Oregon is one of ten states that has banned employers from using credit checks as a reason to turn down an applicant for a job. According to a 2012 statistic, over half of employers perform credit checks when screening applicants, although it is difficult to know how many of them turn applicants down because of the check, as employers are not required to give information about why an applicant was denied a job.
In states with these bans, any applicant who is turned down based on a credit report has the option to sue the company and force the company to hire them. The ban applies to all industries, and scales all levels within the company.
According to one study, many with bad credit have someone in the household who is either out of work, has no health insurance, or has medical debt that can’t be paid. It may be difficult to pay medical bills and meet obligations for a person who is unable to get a job because of bad credit, and the ban may be looking to stop the cycle before it gets any worse.
Source: Bloomberg, “States move to ban credit screening for job applicants,” Elizabeth Dwoskin, June 14, 2013