UPDATE: D.C. Fair Credit In Employment Amendment Act Prohibits Inquiry Into Prospective And Current Employees' Credit Information

Author:Mrs Pamela Devata, Courtney Stieber and Stacey L. Blecher
Profession:Seyfarth Shaw LLP
 
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Seyfarth Synopsis:The District of Columbia has become the newest jurisdiction to prohibit employers from inquiring into their job applicants' and current employees' credit information.

Update: The law became effective on March 17, 2017.

The Act

On February 15, 2017, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed B21-0244 (now known as A21-0673), "The Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act of 2016" (the "Act"), amending the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977 to prohibit employers, including employment agencies and labor organizations, from taking discriminatory action against prospective and current employees based on their credit information (defined as "any written, oral, or other communication of information bearing on an employee's creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, or credit history"). Specifically, employers are prohibited from directly or indirectly requiring, requesting, suggesting, or causing any employee to submit credit information and from using, accepting, referring to or inquiring into credit information unless the particular position is exempt from the law's prohibitions.

Exemptions

Employers are permitted to inquire into an applicant's or employee's credit history is permitted if the position falls under one of the following exemptions:

The employer is otherwise required by D.C. law to require, request, suggest or cause the employee to submit credit information, or use, accept, refer to or inquire into an employee's credit information; The employee is applying for a position as or is employed as a police officer, as a special police office or campus police officer, or in a position with law enforcement function; For employees within the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of D.C.; The employee is required to possess a security clearance under D.C. law: For disclosures by D.C. government employees of their credit information to the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability or the Office of the Inspector General, or the agencies' use of such disclosures; For financial institutions, where the position involves access to personal financial information. Financial institutions are defined as "a bank, savings institution, credit union, foreign bank, trust company, non-depository financial institution, or...

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